I have a confession to make. I used to be very judgmental of my friends who are parents. I thought things like-- why does it take so long for them to leave the house in the morning? Who cares so much about a diaper rash? and Why does (insert simple thing) make them sooo happy - why aren't they simply happy to be around their kids?
Oh the grace that I needed. It is downright hard to be a parent sometimes. Talk about dying to self. Whew! Nothing is sacredly yours anymore- even going to the bathroom. It's always in danger of being interrupted by someone who thinks their needs are greater than yours at the moment.
I cross my heart not to judge another parent's loving * method of parenting their child again.
Here are a couple of parenting methods that I used to be more judgmental of that being a mom has changed my thoughts on:
1. Where the baby sleeps at night. We want to believe that babies go in the crib at bedtime and wake up when the sun comes up cooing to say - I'm up now. This is not the case. At several interludes throughout the middle of the night said baby will be screaming for you to come take them out of their crib. Maybe they're hungry. Maybe they miss you. Maybe they can't get back to sleep. Maybe their gums hurt. But don't bring your baby to bed with you! They will surely die from you rolling over on them. :) Actually- women have been sleeping with their babies for thousands of years. From what I have read it is actually safer for a baby to sleep with their mom. They remember to breathe because they hear mommy breathing. Mom and baby's sleeping rhythms are in tune- making it easier to wake and feed baby during the night. Moms instinctively form a protective body position around their baby. For us, it works to bring Ethan into bed in the morning as Jason is going off to work. This way I can get Ethan to sleep until 9 or 10. Honestly, sometimes it is the best sleep I get all night.
2. Breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding is hard enough with the frequency and latching- don't make moms hide away at home to do it. I have been shocked by the lack of public places that have a nursing area. The only one I know of is at Babies R Us. Even the family restroom at the Virginia Beach Aquarium is lacking a spot to nurse. I can understand why some women are driven to feed their babies in public. They don't want to be hermits!
Those are the 2 biggies that I know of. The next time you find yourself judging a mom with a screaming child or nursing their baby at Target- remember- they are probably doing the best job they can with what they know. And remember me and how walking in their shoes is different than you thought. :)
*(This post is not encompassing abusive situations having to do with neglect, physical harm, or emotional manipulation of children. Those are obviously not loving parents. They are not trying to lovingly parent their kids.)