Sunday, February 7, 2010

Does it really make a difference?

As a Mother, we make so many different decisions. There are so any ways to raise a child that we need to choose what is "best" for our child. Some decisions you make with absolute confidence. For other decisions, there is a voice deep in the back of a mother's mind that worries you that you may be wrong. It is a valid fear. Medical science is an evolution and its practitioners have varying ability and we, the mother, cannot be experts in everything... even though we try. Some times you may pass judgment on another mother for making different choices because you way is "best" or maybe you have received the judging tone of another mother... but in the end does it really make a difference?

Can you really tell who's mother bottle-fed and who's mother breastfed? Who walked at just a few months old vs. well past a year? Who spoke when or whose mother allowed junk food and who ate organic? Is it more important to nurture a life focus on enjoyment or a focus on restriction? Does the occasional indulging in rich foods and fast foods really make me a "bad" mother? Why does the mother who never slept with their child not understand the short lived beauty of going to sleep and waking with you child? In the end, the child grows up and will probably succeed just like the child who only sleeps in her own bed.

The world is a rich place that requires the need for all types of people. We need the logical minds of the scientists, the imagination of the art, the language of the teacher... a child becomes who she is by a simple and complex formula: Parenting + Genetics + Personality + Environment/Experience. Even the mistakes the parents make lend to the unique person we become. So, does it really make a difference?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Children do not come with manuals.

Through out your life, you will hear over and over that children do not come with a manual. Once again, the depth of this statement falls short on non-parental ears.

There are so many theories, so many opinions and so many different ways to be a "good" mom, however, they can contradict one another and cause confusion. Each parent is left on unstable ground trying to determine what path the will reflect on with pleasure. It is not as easy as... did your child have an enjoyable childhood instead you need to be concerned with whether you provided the right emotional, physical and psychological support to raise a well-adjusted person who can contribute to society. Wow! That's a lot of weight for a parent to bear especially since there are a million opportunities to fall short over a lifetime.

Right after birth decisions need to be made... When do you feed her? What do you feed her? How often should you feed her? Is it too much? Is it too little? Is it the right temperature? Is it colic? Is it her food? Is it my food choice? Should I burp her? Which way is best? Do you bicycle her legs or do you do leg lifts or does laying her on her tummy work for you? Do you give medicine? Which one? Or is there some remedy that works every time? What if it all works? What if none of it works? If she stops crying when I turn on the TV, am I hurting her? Every mouth shares its secret and you wonder how every one is such an expert on your little one who is perfectly her own. A small life unfolding before your very eyes and you just try your best to make the right choices along the way.