Monday 21 November 2016

Parenting My Way

I have been a parent now for over 5 years, not long compared to many but long enough. Long enough to have worked out a little bit about the parent I am and the parent I want to be. long enough to have made mistakes, to have done things I am not proud of, to have researched choices, to have seen advice change, to have learnt through trial and error, to have come to peace with most of my methods.

There is so much judgement in parenting, so many labels that we put on ourselves or others, so many different ways to do what we consider to be the best thing for our babies. 

After 5 years I have learnt my limits many times over, and then broken them. I have found where I fit, even if it doesn't really resemble any particular style of parenting but my own.

I feel passionately about breastfeeding, I wouldn't be without my sling, I bring my baby into my bed at night, I don't let them cry. these traits do not define me but they are part of me, choices I make that influence my everyday life. 

The term attachment parent seems so harsh when you wonder whether other parents are unattached? gentle parenting is fine unless you call others harsh parents.  Why do we need labels other than 'trying her best' because I like to believe that this is not only my style but every other Mama I knows.

I doubt my decisions every day. I feel guilty that the children don't have enough one on one time, that they have eaten too much processed food, that they have watched too much TV, that I got cross when I shouldn't, that I laughed when they fell, that other mums are doing this whole parenting thing better than I am. I think we all feel like this at times, I think that is how we know that we are doing it right, that we care.

With each child I have become more confident to trust my instincts.  Dylan was the baby who had my complete attention, but Archie benefitted from a more relaxed Mama.  Finn was parented by someone with more experience and Cora was born into a house filled with Love.  

Five years isn't long really, but it is long enough to know the kind of parent I want to be, it is long enough to find some kind of peace with my decisions, security in my beliefs and to find a wisdom that helps me see the bigger picture sometimes where I used to struggle. I am making this parenting thing up as I go along really, and I am just doing it my way.


  1. This is such a beautiful post, and it is so nice to hear about how you've found your way as a mum over the past five years. I've been a mum for almost two years and I am most definitely still finding my way, and learning as I go. I totally agree with you when it comes to the labels - whilst I didn't manage to breastfeed, and we don't co-sleep I would probably still describe myself as a gentle parent. It's just what works for us :) xx

  2. I relate to so much of this. I really don't like parenting labels and I would never call myself an attachment parent, even though we follow most of the principals. I do kind of call myself a gentle parent but I don't really feel like I deserve the title most of the time. Doing it 'my way' is the perfect description xx

  3. I love the sentiment of this post - I do a lot of the same parenting things (co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing) but hate to be defined by any sort of a label, it's just part of our every day life. You definitely realise the longer you have been a parent for that all those silly comparisons and labels just don't matter at all.

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