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My #1 Tip for Parents: Do What Works for You

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Some parents believe in rigid schedules, other in being “crunchy” (whatever that means), cry it out, don’t cry it out, working, SAHM, etc. Etc.

There is no right and wrong when it comes to being a parent.

Rather than being an advocate of one view or one method, I am an advocate of doing what works for you and your kids.

Recently I have read a few blogs by frustrated moms, in addition to an experience on Facebook that prompted this post.

My girls recently started flipping themselves out of their swings. Their swings were my go to for everything; their naps, amusement, safety while I was doing laundry or changing a baby and now I need new ideas. So I posted my question in my favourite multiples group. Somehow (I guess because I mentioned they nap in their swings) people started telling me about how they should only nap in their cribs and I am ruining their sleep schedule yada yada.

I mean really? These people don’t know anything about my situation (the girls don’t nap at the same time, I keep them on opposite schedules because I don’t like tandem nursing) and yet they are telling me how I should do things. I am sure it was meant in a nice way, but this is the problem.

There is a barrage of information for parents. From family and friends to books and the internet, you could drown. The information can be great, but in my mind the key to being a happy parent it to do what works for you.

I have already posted on some advice I found problematic. Sleep when the baby sleeps for instance only works when you have one child. http://wp.me/p31qV8-4e

I am not afraid to admit that my twins cosleep with me and I sleep nurse them. It works for me. The girls nurse, I get sleep and everyone is happy. Do I think you should cosleep? Only if it works for you. I tried everything with my son to get him to sleep and on a schedule (swing, crib, cry it out) and had months of sleepless nights. Once I started cosleeping we were both much happier.

Everyone says bath the babies at night before bed. Well bedtime is to hectic (get my son to bed, take the dogs out, brush my teeth, change the girls etc.) so I bath them during the day when I have time. What’s wrong with that. The girls sleep just fine at night without one.

Most people tandem nurse twins. I tried it but hated it. I was already used to single feeding, and I didn’t enjoy nursing, not being able to look in their eyes and tickle their feet. Plus I always seemed to end up contorting my body into some position that would hurt later. Doing one at a time let’s me enjoy it, and I am not pinned down. I can play trains with Sawyer on the floor while I nurse. My choice, what works for me. Should you do it? Only if it works for you.

I could go on forever. I let my dogs lick my babies, my son sleep on the sofa, I give the occasional bottle of formula. Am I a bad parent? No. Will my kids grow up to be axe murderers? Hope not! LOL

Don’t confuse my system with being a pushover. We have rules and I stick to them, it is my organized chaos. I just choose my battles carefully.

The bottom line is, everything is just a guideline, a suggestion. You don’t let others tell you what to drive or what to wear do you?

Sure, you look for advice and suggestions, but at the end of the day it is YOUR life. Your family. Do what works for you and enjoy. If following certain rules makes you miserable, don’t do it. I can’t imagine anyone wants to live a miserable life?

We are all good parents in our own ways. It’s so easy to compare yourself with others or get caught up in the bragging games moms can play sometimes (you know, my baby started talking at 5 months, well mine was walking at eleven months…). As long as you love your kids and make sure they are safe and fed with a roof over their head, how you do it is no ones business but your own. Parenting is one of the most amazing things you will ever do in your life, and don’t ever let anyone take that away from you

P.S. I let my son watch unnecessary cartoons so I could write this and I don’t feel guilty at all! LOL

See also:

Do What Works For You: Pregnancy Edition.

How to Win at Breastfeeding: What the Books DON’T Tell You.

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Discussion

26 thoughts on “My #1 Tip for Parents: Do What Works for You

  1. I absolutely love this post. Hahaha “Am I a bad parent? No. Will my kids grow up to be axe murderers? Hope not!”–this part made me laugh! I’m pregnant with my first right now and family and friends are already trying to tell us (my husband and I) how to raise our child. I just say “Thanks for the SUGGESTION!” with a smile.

    Posted by aropeof3strands | July 2, 2013, 7:13 pm
    • Congrats You on your first! You will get a lot of that. I just remind myself that people mean well. And you never know, some of my best parenting advice did come from others so it’s always worth the listen.

      Posted by Shannon | July 2, 2013, 11:11 pm
  2. I co-slept with my 3 year old. and now I am doing it with my 6 month old. Both sleep completely through the night! It works wonderfully for us. When we first did it with the three year old (We really didn’t have a choice. We were living on a commune with honestly no means to get a crib) we were terrified of rolling on her so we would put her in the center of the bed and we both would be hanging half-way off the sides of the bed. It was hilarious looking I am sure.

    I have gotten much criticism for that and for going to a midwife instead of a doctor. Honestly, it just worked for me. Doctors make me uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to be uncomfortable while giving birth.

    And then there is the fact that I paint the 3 year old’s toes and finger nails. People are always telling me it is bad for her, and I know I always cringed at the sight of it before I had kids. But, since having the baby I found that she and I needed something special to do together since I gave most of my time to the newborn. So we go outside on the porch, she chooses the colour and I give her a “mini” mani, pedi. We both enjoy it and it make her feel like a special big girl.

    Posted by autumn8pagan | November 4, 2013, 7:20 am
    • Thanks for sharing! I co slept with all my kids, with twins it was the only way I would’ve gotten any sleep. Sleep nursing is the bomb! But that is what worked for me and I know it’s not for everyone (poor hubs had to sleep on the sofa). As for the painting nails, well who cares what others say. I would paint my three year olds nails if he asked and he is a boy. I like your style and I appreciate your honesty. There are several different ways of raising a child that all work. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Posted by Shannon | November 4, 2013, 11:24 am
  3. I LOVE this! We have 7 kids and they all have different personalities and temperament. what works for one doesn’t always work for the other. Some of my children are easy going, some are not! some are patience testers (one in particular!), some are not. We all parent different and there is not always a right or wrong way! Ignore that lady that is glaring at you as you try to check out at the grocery store with a crying baby, a complaining toddler, an ants in her pants kindergartener, a 1st grader who is trying to “help” you steer the cart,, a 3rd grader who’s reading all the inappropriate magazines at the checkout and a tween and young teen who are just embarrassed by the spectacle that is your family! Ignore her!

    Posted by keeping it all together with 7 kids | December 12, 2013, 10:09 am
    • Thanks! I couldnt agree with you more. Wow, seven kids, you are so lucky. I am sure it is tough at times, but then it’s seven times more rewarding right? I can’t wait to check out your blog (once the kids are asleep lol).

      Posted by Shannon | December 12, 2013, 10:28 am
  4. I must admit, sometimes I look in the rear view mirror and see all these people and wonder where they came from! I do love it though. They’re all very close and that’s what I really wanted for them. I’m an only child from a single mom and I think I really craved the chaos that my childhood best friend had. She was the youngest of 6.

    Posted by keeping it all together with 7 kids | December 12, 2013, 10:48 am
  5. Well said! I too have tried some of the “suggestions” out there and they don’t always work. I do what works for me and if people don’t like it…oh well.

    Posted by MyFamilyIsMyHeart | December 24, 2013, 11:55 am
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    Posted by drew delaney | January 19, 2014, 8:27 pm
  7. This should also go for Marriage and living together and also gay couple! Do what is right for you! I’m not married, infact, I’m 19 with a 9 months old and I still live at home although I’m still with my sons father, we wanted to save to buy a house because this suits us.. The amount of stig, critism, judgment and opinions people have on this makes me so mad! As long as you, your partner and most importantly your baby/a are well looked and happy! Great post!!

    Posted by smilelovedream | February 17, 2014, 2:52 pm
    • Thanks, I agree with you. I am not married either but since we we are older most people don’t say anything. Be proud of yourself for all that you have and know that the people who talk about you behind your back are behind for a reason. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      Posted by Shannon | February 17, 2014, 2:59 pm
  8. I find it weird that for some overzealous mums, if you’re not feeling overwhelmed or haggard or if somehow you manage to keep your sanity while being a full-time mother that you’re doing something wrong. I’m all for making kids as comfy as possible but I also want to be comfy too! A stressed out mum is just as bad for the baby. It doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game where only the child or the parent is comfortable and happy.
    As far as I’m concerned, the equation should be happy mum=happy baby=happy daddy/husband (if applicable)

    Posted by beashi | March 18, 2014, 1:48 am
  9. Amen!!!! That’s always been my motto!

    Posted by Michelle | May 14, 2014, 7:55 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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