Monday, June 30, 2014

parenting in the middle


Before I had Hayden, I had a set of ideas in my mind about how I wanted to raise him and some of those included some extremes, like no electronic toys in our house, only organic food, etc. For the most part, 2 years in, we are parenting Hayden the way I imagined we would. However one thing that I've absolutely learned is that I'm not a person that can live by extremes. We are more moderate in our parenting decisions and I am totally okay with that. For example:
  • We cloth diaper- 90% of the time. On trips and occasionally on diaper washing days, Hayden wears a disposable. Sometimes I forget (or don't want) to wash diapers at night and we rely on our stock of disposables. I could plan better or ensure that he's always in a cloth diaper, but I'm not concerned with that 10% of the time.
  • Hayden doesn't usually watch TV, but he loves Mickey Mouse and sees it on occasion, when I need to get ready in the morning or have a work call. We don't really want him watching TV, very often but we don't feel guilty when we do turn it on every once in a while.
  • We planned to do Baby Led Weaning with no baby food at all. But you know what? Those pouches are so useful, especially when your child is on a fruit and vegetable strike.
  • Other things we planned on: no family bed (Hayden sleeps in our bed once every few months and used to a lot more frequently when he was teeny tiny), no electronic toys (he has a few and enjoys them), no sugar (ha... He doesn't eat sugar everyday but the boy sure knows what ice cream is!), no processed food (we can control what he eats in our house but out and about or at parties or relatives houses, he has a little more freedom in his eating), only organic food (there's a lot of great, healthy food that's not organic), a precise bedtime (he usually is in bed by 8.... But sometimes later, and it's fine).
I read all the time about mommy-guilt on the internet and it's a very real thing, but if I've learned anything about being a momma, it's that all these rules and expectations we set for ourselves can make us constantly feel like we aren't doing enough. Being a good momma for your kids means loving them like crazy and trying everyday to make good decisions. I know my kid will turn out just fine in spite of his occasional Mickey Mouse watching, goldfish eating, and iPad time. Hayden is a happy, healthy, easy-going almost-2-year-old. Maybe other mommas are better at sticking to their guns about things in which they really truly believe. That's so awesome for them, but for me- I can't be as extreme as I thought I would about everything. I have my principles and I can bend the rules a little and understand that while I'm not the ideal "perfect mom" in everyone's eyes,  I'm still being the perfect momma for Hayden everyday.

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