Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Parenting Advice is Like a Buffet

0 2875 634588064166288142 Parenting Advice is like a Buffet
When I was pregnant with my first baby I really had no idea what I was doing.  By the time she was born, I had been an Aunt for 13 years and had 11 nieces and nephews.  But that second hand knowledge was nothing compared to what I needed to know for my child.
Everyone seemed to have an opinion on how to raise my baby.  Should I vaccinate or not?  Should I have a drug-free and medicinal birth?  Should I breastfeed or formula feed?  When should I start solid foods?  What kinds of baby shampoo should I use?  What is the best carseat/stroller combo? The list went on and on (and on…).
We decided on natural childbirth in a hospital with a midwife.  This was the best choice for us.  However, I heard constantly from those I worked with that it was not a great choice.  That there were drugs, I should use them.  That I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain.  That I shouldn’t try to be a hero.
When my baby was found to be footling breech, again I got advice from everyone about how to turn her, how a c-section wasn’t “that bad”, and whether I should try to turn her or not.
I remember in our childbirth classes the teacher telling us this.  When you are pregnant and a new parent you will get a lot of advice.  You will hear a lot of things that have worked for others and they will be really passionate about what they believe in.  Listen to everything.  Mull it over and like a great buffet table set with lots of different foods, choose the ones that seem best for you.
In my 9 years of parenting, this is what has worked.  As I come upon challenges with my children, I look for advice and I get a lot of unsolicited advice.  I ask other parents, read blogs and websites, take what I want and leave the rest.
There are so many opinions out there about everything.  There is no way I could implement every single thing that every person tells me to do.  I rely on my gut and do what is best for my family. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and I have to try something different. But that is kind of what parenting is all about isn’t it?

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