Stop Worrying about Parenting ‘Mistakes’ and Trust Yourself

I reach my arm out from the warm blankets and grab my phone to check the time. The air in the room is crisp and I quickly push the button.

3:30 a.m.

“Ahhh…not yet,” I think and snuggle back into the inviting warmth radiating from my two youngest. I settle in amongst a tangle of legs and feet. Their breathing is soft and steady. I close my eyes for more precious sleep.

I became a mom at the age of 23. I had no friends at the time and it was before the days of internet, so I had no connections with other moms.

I had read a few pamphlets from a birthing class on how to care for a baby. With my pamphlet education on baby care, the hospital sent me home with a brand new human being.kids

There is so much pressure put on moms to do it right. No one wants to make a mothering faux pas.

And it starts at conception.

Gotta have your baby listen to Mozart in utero because one wouldn’t want to be born at a disadvantage.

BELLY2

There’s the hotly debated breast or bottle and cloth diaper or disposable decisions. I did the breastfeeding route after I realized getting up in the middle of the night came with the territory. I figured the milk was already warm and made, so that was the easiest choice.

I used disposable diapers. I know, I know–I hate the earth.

Don’t forget your style–you can’t just be a parent. You have to have a parenting style.

Let’s see… you could try on instinctive parenting, attachment parenting, helicopter, authoritative, permissive or free range parenting. helicopter

Carry your baby in a sling or use a stroller?

Jarred baby food or homemade?

Family bed or children sleep separately?

Santa, Toothfairy, or Easter Bunny? This would require way too much effort on my part.

toothfairy

Then the day arrives that one must decide on an educational path. Maybe around week two of your baby’s life. Waiting lists for certain preschools can be long. After all, the path to the right college for your little genius can’t begin too early.

Public, private or homeschool. So many choices! Do you risk the ‘dangers’ of public school such as possibly exposing your child to heathens or eating frozen mystery meat for hot lunch?

Or go with private school were kids can mingle with the upper crust or the kids who have been kicked out of public school. The hoity-toity bumper sticker is also a plus.

There’s the homeschool route where the dress code is mismatched items and crooked haircuts. If you can endure the question, “What about socialization?” Ten gazillion times over the course of your homeschool, you may be a good candidate. Resist the urge to roll your eyes.

We had a bumper sticker like this on our van…

unsocialized

We homeschooled for over seventeen years. Living one block from a middle school reinforced the decision. I watched the same cars drive by, day after day, in busy traffic. I watched the same kids walk by, swearing and smoking.

ehh… I think we’ll stay home.

Along with homeschooling we have experienced private school, charter school and public summer school. They all have their pros and cons–it really comes down to what you make of it.

Isn’t that true of anything in life, including parenting?

It’s what you make of it.

We’re so afraid of screwing up. And really, what’s ‘screwing up’? Whose definition of screwing up are we going by anyway?

Take heart and lighten up. Babies have survived war zones, famine, and natural disasters. The parenting choices we agonize over, most likely aren’t as big of a deal as we think.

Trust yourself and let your children know you love them.

I finally drift back to sleep with my two youngest sleeping next to me and ignore the mothering faux pas accusations…

“But do you want your kids sleeping with you when they’re sixteen?”

“How will they learn to be independent?”

“They won’t be able to go to college because they’ll be too attached to you.”

Blah…blah…blah…

my 500

2 Responses to Stop Worrying about Parenting ‘Mistakes’ and Trust Yourself

  1. I have to get that bumper sticker! Just sent your blog post to my wife who homeschools our three girls. I love your concluding advice “Trust yourself and let your children know you love them.” We all need to take heart and lighten up indeed!

    • yolandadeloach says:

      Brent, I’ll have to think for a bit about the website where we bought homeschool t-shirts and other cool stuff, then I’ll send it to you. Thanks for commenting!

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