It’s 2018 and the amount of parenting techniques there are is outrages. There’s attachment parenting, authoritative parenting, lazy parenting, different types of special parenting from different countries, and apparently whatever the how-to books say when it comes to raising our children. When you browse the self help section of your neighborhood bookstore, you can find just about anything and everything on sleep training, feeding, discipline, and so on. There are hundreds of online articles that hit my news feed daily. It’s enough to drive you crazy. What’s worse, parents who have fallen for a specific style of parenting will judge you if your style does not match theirs. We’re all a little guilty of it. So what style did you choose?
Let’s face it, people have been having babies for years. So, why are we looking to books on how to properly raise our children? Because, like bell bottoms, skinny jeans, and hoop earrings; parenting styles have become a trend. One way becomes more popular than another, and if you are still raising your children on pop tarts and tv, then you are out dated sister! Don’t you know it’s the year of ‘breast is best,’ and homemade puree? Duh!
So back to my question, what parenting fad have you chosen? Me? Oh, I’ve gone with my gut, and yes a few how to articles, but I like to mix and match. I like to consider myself the involved parent who picks up her baby every time she cries, but also bottle feeds. I mix in a few pointers of sleep training how to’s along with rocking my little one to sleep every night. Yes, I give her time alone to explore her independence, but I also respond when she needs me. I’ve worn my baby in a wrap, but she also sleeps in a crib.
With so many parenting styles and mom-critics telling us how we should raise our children, we forget that our kids are unique individuals, who may respond to different methods. We forget that parenting is an instinct and not necessarily something we need to learn. I get it, raising a child is hard and sometimes we need advice. Getting a baby to latch on can be nerve wracking, and sometimes it takes a professional to help us keep our toddler from having a meltdown in the middle of Target. Seeking help is pretty standard for all parents, but if our child isn’t sleeping in until 9am were rushing to our phones and were googling “How do I make my child sleep more?” Maybe it has nothing to do with your parenting style and maybe it’s just that your little one is an early riser. Yes, it would be so nice to sleep in, but parenting is a full-time job, and sometimes you have to be to work early.
Since we have fallen into the trap of parenting styles, we obsess over sleep training, letting them cry it out, baby wearing, how we feed them, what we teach them, and how we discipline them. When someone doesn’t agree with our style, we have to hear the backlash of their opinions, “You’re too hard on them, you’re not hard enough, you’re feeding them too much, you’re not feeding them enough, you’re spending too much time with them, you’re not spending enough time with them.” We can’t raise our children in public for fear of judgement.
The parenting style I have chosen is the one where I follow my heart and the needs of my little girl. I do what’s best for her, and what works for us as a family. I refuse to fall into a trend because society not only tells me how I should look or dress, or who I should marry or how I should be happy, but also how I should parent? No thank you! Put down the how-to articles, Mama’s. It’s time to follow your hearts!
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