Why is it that some people feel the need to put their unhelpful, insensitive opinions across when it isn’t required, needed or, quite frankly, wanted? Since becoming a parent, it has baffled me how much criticism there is out there about what you should and shouldn’t do regarding your parenting. The delight some people seem to get out of telling you that, oh no, you mustn’t do this and you mustn’t do that! That look in their eyes that says “how very dare you!”
As you may know, LL isn’t the best sleeper (since she popped out this has always been the case. I blame Hubby who was exactly the same, apparently!) When people ask “How’s the baby? Is she a good sleeper?” I’ll be honest and reply “She’s great thank you! No, she isn’t the best sleeper”. The response to this answer is quite often “Oh dear, isn’t she sleeping through by now?” The look on my face must say it all, and I can see them backing off ready to retreat from the sleep deprived mother ready to shoot daggers through her eyes. The best one was this week. The discussion went like this…
“How’s the baby? I bet she’s sleeping through now!”
I reply, “She’s good thank you. Not exactly, no! She isn’t a great sleeper. She’s quite clingy and ends up in our bed most nights as she gets so hysterical when we leave her.”
“Oh, you’ve started a bad habit somewhere then to make her like that.”
I was gobsmacked. Excuse me but do you even know my baby and our situation? (You haven’t even met her!) Do you know how hard it is to function on lack of sleep every single night? Are you aware that she’s had various colds and viruses and wants her mummy and daddy when she isn’t feeling well? The answer to all of the above is no, no and no. So why make such an insensitive, judgemental comment? I’ve been told to leave LL to cry. We’ve tried the controlled crying method several times without any success, she gets so upset and ends up being sick. So my decision to comfort her is perfectly valid, and I stick two fingers up to the people who dare to argue with that!
A similar thing happened when someone we know commented on LL having a dummy.
“At least so and so doesn’t have a dummy.” – Referring to her niece who has never had a dummy. An unprovoked, random attack on our parenting. Ok, whatever. But it’s perfectly fine that my baby has a dummy and your opinion won’t change that.
I personally feel a judgemental attitude is wrong, wrong wrong. As a parent you feel a sense of guilt about everything you do, every single day anyway. (Have I given her enough to eat? Has she drank enough? Shit I haven’t taken her out for a walk today, we’ve sat and watched CBeebies all afternoon. Oh crap, I must be the shittest Mum ever.) Why make someone feel even worse about their parenting decisions? So what if our little girl shares our bed? The looks we’ve had and the tut tutting from people when they find out this is the case, it’s ridiculous! Right now, we are struggling with her not sleeping. She’s extreamly sensitive and wants to be with her mummy and daddy. You may or may not agree with our parenting method on this particular issue, and that’s fine. When your baby is born you aren’t given an instruction manual. You get to know your own child and follow your instincts. You parent your child how you feel is best. You do what is best for you and your family.
So, to all those parents who feel judged or influenced by other people’s opinions, please hear this. YOU’RE DOING A BLOODY GREAT JOB. If your child is screaming the house down in the middle of the night and you decide to pick them up and give them a cuddle…You’re doing great. If you decide to bring them into your bed because they just won’t settle… You’re doing great. If they have a dummy…You’re doing great. If they’re poorly and all they’ll eat that morning is a rusk because it’s the only thing they fancy…You’re doing great. YOU’RE DOING GREAT. If you ever doubt yourself, that’s fine. But just remember, you’re doing great!
Much love xxx