Today my son had his 6 month check-up and I didn’t tell the pediatrician the truth. Without even thinking about it, the answer I knew he wanted shot out of my mouth.
Now, before we all go jumping to conclusions here, let me explain; in a world full of opinions and suggestions, sometimes I just don’t want to hear another. With my first baby, I was overcome and overwhelmed with pediatricians, family members, and even random people throwing their unsolicited advice and opinions at me. It was always a topic of discussion whether or not I should co-sleep, if I should or should not supplement formula, or how many blankets I should have over the car seat if there is even the slightest breeze. I even had people telling me how to dress my daughter and don’t even get me started on the vaccine debate; I’m over it.
So yes, sometimes I lie when my pediatrician asks me if I co-sleep with my 6 month old because, yes, I do and I don’t want to hear what the AAP says about it for a millionth time. I introduce eggs and peanuts early on, and I do baby led weaning, unless I don’t feel like cleaning up the mess then I *gasp* use already pureed foods and a bib. My almost three year old hasn’t given up a bottle when she drinks milk and I keep that hush hush too, because if it doesn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother you. I breastfeed my baby when he doesn’t feel good and right after he gets shots because that is MY way of comforting him when he is hurting and I don’t consider that as a bad habit or him “abusing mom”. Yes, I was told that by a doctor, though I am sure he had good intentions.
I’m just not here for it anymore. I parent the way I want to because I feel that it is what is best for my babies and myself. Often that means I let them take their time reaching new goals. I had people in my ear all the time with my first baby and I was always in a rush to make her achieve the next new thing. It got to a point where I was stressing myself out over the fact she wasn’t doing things that, well, she just wasn’t ready to do. Which is actually quite ironic because as soon as she accomplished the next new thing I would find myself mourning the loss of her infancy. Being a single mom with an infant and a toddler in the house, my mantra has become ‘do what works for you!’ I live by that because it is what gets me through the days, and currently my family is on survival mode. If my daughter eats a still frozen Ego waffle for breakfast, I’m here for it, because she ate. If my son wants to lay beside me and nurse the whole time as I get a nap in, that is a WIN! Because we all know how precious a nap is to a mom!
Parenting is a hard job as it is, and it should not be made more difficult by trying to balance my own opinions with those of everyone else. That being said, you raise your kids, I’ll raise mine. But I’d still love to grab a coffee or meet up for a play-date with the kids!