Because my child only eats organic food while binge-watching Sesame Street.
Remember a time when you decided you’d breastfeed for years, or that you’d wait till your child was going for their Masters before allowing them to watch tv? You were only to feed them purees from vegetables grown in your organic backyard garden. And cloth diapers. Cloth diapers were everywhere.
Then you had a baby and realized you lived in an apartment with no room for a garden. That you were only human and you just needed to survive. And GOOD LORD what angels have the patience to constantly wash poopy cloth diapers!? They are definitely the same people who watch pimple popping videos (PS more power to the cloth diaper parents–you guys rule and this is no judgment. I am just a sissy when it comes to these kinds of things.)
I’m a first-time mom who drank the Koolaid. I breastfed my daughter for a solid year. That solid year included low milk supply, long hours at work, and pumping in a makeshift ‘women’s area’ a.k.a office cubicle. Tears, vasospasms, cracked nips. My daughter also dropped from being a chubby, happy, healthy baby to a skinny, happy, healthy baby. Could she have used a few ounces of formula? Probably. But I read those damn rules.
She didn’t watch a lick of TV till she was 364 days old. I didn’t want to zap her brain. Who knows what Sesame Street would’ve done to her? She’d probably already be selling drugs, breaking into cars and ripping off old ladies for their retirement money at 18 months.I read those DAMN RULES.
We didn’t sleep train for a long time. Instead, we felt more comfortable holding and rocking our daughter for hours–singing all the wonderful lullabies ever written and some never written (I can’t repeat those… too many curses.) And we shushed till our mouths (quite literally) went numb.UGH, I STUDIED THOSE RULES!
Where is the greatest parent of the year award? Nowhere? Cool.
Parenting rules are bullshit.
DO I HAVE REGRETS? Some. Who doesn’t? Am I saying you should throw out all your woowoo-ness and sleep train at a day old or only feed your kids Velvetta from the block? Absolutely not.
This isn’t about taking sides. This is about accepting yourself, accepting what works for you, and respecting others’ attempts on raising their own children. We parents are so hung up on what team we are playing for when we should really only focus on Team Survival Mode. Parenting is fucking hard and we need to stick together.
There did come a time where I finally had to say “Fuck the rules!” and did things my way. At 7 months we threw in the blankie and did a “mild” cry it out. My baby now sleeps about 7pm till 630am, no wake ups. Look at me now, ma!
Okay, okay. I will admit it. I still rock her to sleep by humming the first verse of Landslide over and over for about 10 minutes, but its way better than shushing and Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal. So I’ll take it.