Breaking All The Mama Rules
I’ve come to realize that my parenting style is mainly just going with my gut. I did so much research with my first baby about anything and everything. When to introduce solids, when to stop holding them for a nap, when to start potty training, when to do tummy time. It was exhausting. It just seems that there are so many spoken and unspoken rules when it comes to parenting. My husband and I went out on a date last night, just the two of us. Something that we haven’t done since before our son was born, and he’ll be turning 6 months at the end of this month. It was such a nice date, we drank wine and took our time eating our appetizer, and just talked about anything that came to mind; which got me thinking about a new “parent rule” circulating out there, that I had heard recently. “When you go on a date with your spouse, try not to talk about your children. Instead just focus on the two of you.” I read that and remember thinking “Oh that’s good advice, whenever my husband and I have some alone time it’s true that we usually end up talking about our children.”
So on our drive home, I was feeling a little guilty that we had “broken” that parent rule, so I asked my husband if he minded that we had talked about our kids on our date. He looked at my like I had just grown a second head. He was super confused why I thought he would mind something like that, and the first words out of his mouth were “Why would I mind? I love our kids”. And that was that. Case closed for him. He’s a very straight forward guy, something that I have always appreciated. His simple response totally shut down any doubts that I was having. Where I was trying to dissect why I couldn’t stop myself from talking about our kids, he readily dismissed that that was something out of the ordinary and moved on. It really opened my eyes to how hard we can all be on ourselves sometimes. Why do we need to abide by these types of rules? I mean, granted, it’s just general advice, but my own two cents are to just go with your gut. Yes, I realize that that particular piece of advice about not talking your kids while out together is probably for couples so that they can still maintain some common ground and focus on themselves as a married couple. But ya know what? Just do what works for you!
I’ll admit a few things here. I break a LOT of these spoken and unspoken “Mama Rules”. Wanna hear a few of them? I still hold my son when he naps sometimes. Yeah, he’s 5 months old and could be napping by himself in his crib, but I love snuggling with him and sharing that special moment. I know that this is a very small window in time that I will be able to do this. There is no way that he’ll let me do this as he gets older. So yeah, I’m gonna hold him sometimes when he sleeps. I did that with my daughter too. She naps all by herself now in a bed. She’s perfectly normal. We both survived. I also let said toddler come into our bed if she has a nightmare. She doesn’t do this all the time. She maybe does this a couple of times a month. She’s actually been sleeping in her own bed all night for the last half a year or so. My husband doesn’t mind. I don’t mind. I think that’s all that matters for OUR family. And per my last post about occasionally bribing my toddler so that she will listen to me (you can read it here), I will do that too. I don’t do it all the time, I don’t shove tons of candy in her mouth so that she won’t act like a normal toddler her age. But yeah, if we’re out somewhere and she’s acting like she’s Tigger from Winnie the Pooh and bouncing all over the booth seat, yeah, I’ll probably say she can have her apple juice or milk IF she sits down and is safe.
I don’t know, at this point in my motherhood journey of almost 3 years, I just think we all need to listen to our heart and our gut for what is right for our children. The way that I parent probably wouldn’t work for a lot of kids, and vice versa. And you know what? I think that’s great! I really do. I love hearing new techniques or ideas that my other mama friends come up with for their babies or toddlers. I love trying these new ideas out to see what works or doesn’t work for us. I think it sometimes really does take a village to help us with our children. I know that there are a LOT of times where I am so overwhelmed and stressed out because I feel outnumbered by my almost 3 year old daughter and my 5 month old son. So my advice (take it or leave it, it’s totally up to YOU what works for you and your family) would be this: Ask for help if you need it. Go with your gut. Follow your heart. I truly think that motherhood (and parenthood in general) is very instinctive. If something feels right, just go with it. Don’t overthink it. Don’t feel the need to Google or call up your other mama friends to see if they’re doing it too. You’ve got this. If it doesn’t feel right or isn’t for you, then don’t do it. Be confident in yourself and your own mothering skills. At the end of the day, we all love our children and want what is best for them.