I find so much judgment in the parenting community. Okay, most of the people I hang out with are awesome (yep, there is that word again!). And the mommy-and-me group I go to is facilitated by an amazing woman who creates a truly welcoming, non-judgmental, inclusive space in which, I observe, real listening happens, healing listening. She is an inspiration. But outside that room a lot of judgment still appears to happen.
It goes something like this:
– if you let your child ‘cry it out’ you are heartless and setting the kid up to be anxious, unable to form deep and lasting relationships and generally f*cked up
– if you co-sleep you are molly-codling your kid, doing it for yourself and will turn out a kid who is dependent and weak
– if you baby proof the house you are lazy, selfish and putting your own needs above those of the kid (i.e. you should be there with them, watching them and entertaining them all the time)
– if you don’t baby proof you are irresponsible and putting your child in danger
– if you vaccinate you are blindly being led by the pharmaceutical companies and putting your kid in danger of Autism, allergic reactions, catching the live disease itself, etc.
– if you don’t vaccinate you are neglectful of your child and compromising the ‘heard immunity’
Basically my point is this, whatever you do there will be someone out there ready to waggle their finger at you and make you feel small and wrong. Likewise with everything you do you will find a group of people making similar choices, applauding you and welcoming you to their side.
And it is good to step back every now and again and see the big picture, see how it is all relative, how each path has advantages, challenges and risks… and ultimately nobody knows what will be best for you and your child, what particular set of nurturing behaviours will bring out the best of your son or daughter’s individual and unique nature. We don’t know. Different things work best for different people. So if I have to trust a guess, I’d rather follow the mother’s guess, mother’s intuition. Let the researchers argue, let the nay-sayers, judge… Do what feels good. Follow your heart – your mother’s heart. I will follow mine.