Why are we making parenting so complicated?
Parenting is hard.
I get it. I’m the mother of two.
I have had my share of worries and stresses.
I have had internal battles with myself because I let my baby watch Baby Einstein before the age of two. I have lost sleep over the fact that my husband and I have argued in front of our kids. I have felt the guilt creep in as I have placed an order for two Happy Meals at McDonalds, making myself feel better because my children ordered apple slices instead of French fries.
Being a parent is hard.
But is it really as hard as we have allowed ourselves to believe?
Why have we let parenting become so complicated?
From before we even conceive we are stressing ourselves about every little tiny detail.
We plan out our natural birth.
We tell ourselves breast is best over and over until formula doesn’t even become an option anymore.
Don’t even think about co-sleeping, it’s not good for your marriage.
We can only feed our children organic snacks; processed and pre-packaged food is unhealthy and leads to childhood obesity.
No screen time. None. At all.
Our babies haven’t yet learned to walk and we are already reserving their spots in Montessori preschool.
The list goes on and on and on.
Why do we do this to ourselves as parents?
We are putting way too much pressure on ourselves and we are putting way too much pressure on our kids.
Somehow we have convinced ourselves that parenting is about controlling all the possible bad things that can happen to kids.
Somehow we have allowed the what if’s to take over.
What if we don’t sleep train our baby and they are never able to fall asleep on their own?
What if I let my baby crawl around on the floor by themselves and they get hurt?
What if I don’t teach my kids about numbers and colours and shapes and they can’t make it through kindergarten?
Things have gotten way out of hand.
There are absolutely some things that science and medicine and research has told us about babies and children. We know that it’s safest to put a baby to sleep on their backs. We know that babies have to be in car seats when travelling in a vehicle. We know that it’s good to read to babies and to talk to them and give them lots of love and cuddles.
We know all of these things and we do them.
But can we relax a little?
Can we stop obsessively watching our babies on their video monitors while they nap?
Can we stop beating ourselves up if we choose to formula feed our babies?
Can we stop trying to convince ourselves that if we don’t have the ultimate control over every second of our babies lives or if we make one bad choice that somehow it’s all going to spontaneously combust right in our face?
Stop for a second and think about how many times you wondered, just today, if you were messing up this whole parenting thing.
Now think about how many times you told yourself that you were actually a pretty good parent.
Truth is, if you love your baby and you take care of them, if you feed them and diaper them, if you bath your baby and cuddle them, and cover them in kisses then chances are you are doing just fine.
Let’s try and make it a little easier on ourselves. Stop and take a second today to remind yourself that you are a pretty good parent. Sometimes all we need is a little reminder.