Before I became a mom, I have to admit I was a bit judgmental about the way other people parent. I would see someone doing something and think “I won’t do it that way” or “that mom should try this.” I never would have voiced my opinions or even appeared to be judging them, but I was. But now I am a mom and things have changed. When Millie was only a few weeks old D and I went with her to Starbucks before Church. She was in her stroller sucking away on her binky and happy as can be. A woman sitting across from us said “Oh you let her have a pacifier? My kids never had a pacifier, I just didn’t want them to become dependent and then not have one, I thought I would lose it or something. Did someone tell you to give her a pacifier?” I was so mad I had to hold myself back from raising my voice. I was so shocked she would actually voice her opinion like that! People really can be opinionated about the journey to becoming a mom.
One thing I didn’t expect about becoming a mom is how personal the journey is. How personal each decision you make for your little is. You see my little is different from your little and I am different than you. So the choices I make will be different. To be honest, the first few weeks all the decisions I made were about survival. Everything I thought I would do and everything I read about got thrown out the window.
I never planned on c0-sleeping, I never planned on responding the second she cried, I never planned on rocking her to sleep whenever she wanted me too. I thought those things were just personal preferences, I had my opinions about them. But the reality the first fee weeks were all about survival. We slept with her in our bed because it was necessary so both of us could get sleep (the first night we got up probably 20 times to check on our sweet baby in the basinet and realized we couldn’t’ do that every night), I responded immediately when she cried because my mama heart couldn’t take listening to her little whimper and cries, I rocked her (and still do occasionally) to sleep because she struggled to get get to sleep on her own.
When you become a mama the decisions you make are about you, your baby and your husband. They may be shaped by books you read and how you were raised, but it ultimately comes down to your own little. Millie is a unique baby. She will learn and grow at her own pace and so will her mama. I am not saying not to read books, because I have and I have found them quite helpful (more on that later) but I am the one reading the books not Millie. She doesn’t know what they say, so she isn’t always going to fall into line about what the books say and I am okay with that.
As she and I both grow in this journey there will be personal decisions I make about her sleep schedule, discipline, feeding and learning, but I don’t expect it to be the same way my sister, my mom or you do it. So next time you want to judge a mama for a decision she is making, remember their journey is different from yours.