Right Versus Wrong ParentingBeth Anne Ballance
I’m going to let you in on a little secret about my life that I’ve learned a) from strangers at Target and b) from strangers on the internet: No matter how you parent, it’s the wrong way to do it.
Oh, so you breastfeed? Well, that’s gross.
Oh, so you bottlefeed? You’re a selfish twat.
Whether or not you’re parenting “right” or parenting “wrong” absolutely depends on who you talk to and the culture of the area. But I think we can all agree that articles like TIME’s “Are You Mom Enough?” just dig at the root of our worries – are we enough for our children? It feeds this awful guilt within us that twists into dark places and creates the beast that is “mom guilt.” I’m tired of being told that choosing to bottle feed my baby was “unnatural” when I have a thriving and healthy two-year-old. I’m tired of being praised that babywearing helped us become attached.
On the other hand, I thought I’d have a little tongue-in-cheek fun with the “theme” of the day, regarding the right and wrong ways to parent in the 21st century:
Wrong! 1 of 12I formula fed from the start. Zero breastmilk went into this kid & he is still smart & healthy.
Right! 2 of 12I wore Harrison a ton as an infant & early toddler.
Wrong! 3 of 12I put him down as a baby so that I could shower, eat, exercise, etc.
Right! 4 of 12I cloth diapered.
Wrong! 5 of 12I took my baby to a bar.
Right! 6 of 12I let him make his own choices on things that don't impact his well-being or safety, like when he wanted a hot pink pumpkin for trick-or-treating.
Wrong! 7 of 12Twice per year, I leave my son for 3-5 days to attend a blogging conference.
Right! 8 of 12We buy "girl" toys that are pink. It's his favorite color & I see no problem with a little boy playing dress-up, kitchen, or dolls.
Wrong! 9 of 12He slept in a crib from Day 1. So far, he's never spent the night in our bed, even when he's sick.
Right! 10 of 12I made my own baby food.
Wrong! 11 of 12I'm a work-outside-of-the-home momma.
Right! 12 of 12I love the snot out of this kid. & he knows it.
Go ahead and giggle. It’s all out of good fun! Because the truth is, what I did “wrong” wasn’t wrong – it was right for me, right for my baby, right for our life. And what I did “right” wasn’t always right – after a few months, I hated making baby food and trying to get the perfect texture when he preferred the smoother jar baby food. I’m just doing the best that I can and that makes me “mom enough” for my toddler.
More from BA:
MORE ON BABBLE
10 things you should NEVER say to a mom
What were they thinking?! The most age inappropriate toddler gear
The 10 biggest lies moms tell their kids
15 ways NOT to raise your toddler
7 reasons mean moms rule