OK, chances are my son will be OK. I mean, my parents are not even close to being perfect (sorry mom) but I like to think I came out alright. But never in my life have I doubted myself so much as I do when it comes to my parenting.
For starters, there is so much information out there now a days at our fingertips, that chances are you are going to find hundreds of pages, all with different advice on the same subject, and now they have studies for everything. I can drive you mad! You will find all kinds of point of views, and everybody swears by their method and it seems that everybody is against everyone else's point of view. It just takes to scroll down to the bottom of the pages and see how the comments escalate from "I don't agree" to insults and name calling. And although they can be entertaining (Oh! come on! don't tell me you haven't made yourself comfortable with a cup of your favorite drink and pressed the refresh button constantly to see what happens) They can actually make you doubt your parenting skills even more.
And the internet is one thing, I mean, at least you can go offline and go back to your happy place and pretend that what you just read didn't affect you at all.
But when you meet other parents and they judge the way you parent your child, that's a whole different thing!
I had a lady approach me while I was feeding my child formula (he must have been around 2 months old) and tell me how bad of a mother I was because I was not breastfeeding my child. Let me tell you something, That was so freaking painful!! Breastfeeding was so hard for me, I had to see a lactation consultant every week for six months cause my child never latched, I pumped every three hours day and night and I did it, because I believed it was the best thing for him, but I did have to supplement and that as it was made me feel guilty (again, because I think I read too much) but then, to hear the judging from somebody else with my hormones still raging was the worse! That made me judge myself even harder in a way and as hurt as I was, that comment lingered with me for a long time.
Ok, anyway, I'll stop venting now and maybe get some counseling for that episode as I clearly am not over it yet.
For me, supplementing with formula was what worked best, as well as many other things.
Those things worked for ME. That doesn't mean they are going to work for you, or even for my second child. But both, me and my husband, decided to parent as we do, together, and because it works for us and for our child.
As I was talking to a friend yesterday, I realized that the self doubting that we have as parents is as common as the judging that we do to other parenting styles. I mean, we all are guilty of both of them, at least I know I am.
But why do we have to be so cruel when we judge to the point as to become bullies who think of ourselves as crusaders of our cause? I mean, we all love our children and we all want what is best for them. We all suffer with them when they are down and we all celebrate them when we are proud. We all are outstanding parents in some areas and we all could do a little better in others. But we are all in this together. Let's embrace each other, learn from each other's mistakes and successes. By the way, this also means no judging of ourselves. And with that I speak to myself. Motherhood is hard, it comes without a manual and sometimes, at least once a day for me, you are in survival mode. Somebody told me once; "The fact that you are doubting yourself means you care and nobody who cares about their children can be a bad parent". So just do the best you can, do what is best for you and your family and try and enjoy every stage in your children's lives.
Let's make motherhood a judgement free zone and we might find ourselves being happier and better parents.