Doing your own thing


The amount of advice available on parenting especially for first time parents is beyond mind boggling. And frankly, as a first time parent myself, I have realised that I should make my own rules and mistakes while raising my son rather than following someone else’s guidelines.

Expectations run high in my family and my husband’s. At about 6-8 weeks, my lil boy had begun moving his hands and legs actively enough. Yet there were elders, relatives (parents of young ones), etc who told me, “He should move his limbs more and cry less. My XX used to do this and that at this age.” My reaction — Yea, okay parents of smarty pants, my child will do his own thing and do it at his own pace.  I am NOT rushing him or running to the doctor.  The advice giver almost always moved on to scrutinize & question me on how I massaged the baby, how long I feed him, what I ate myself as that is passed on as milk to my baby and a zillion other things. Humanly speaking, everyone has a limit to how much advice their grey cells can absorb, and process.

I figured that knowledge is power and it can protect my sanity. So, I read up reliable sources on the internet, including famous authors and real-life experiences across the globe. This way I could make my own decisions for my baby.

I found that people accept a point of view if a professional has validated it. And I found that my own pediatrician agreed with almost all of my views. Like, “My doctor said to not to start antibiotics for fever while teething until really required or child shows signs of severe distress.” This quieted many advice-givers. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about hearing other people’s stories and experiences and I’m very interested in their (and my own) learning and growth as a parent, but there’s a limit to how much I can listen and finally it will be my and my spouse’s decision that will be applied on the baby. Not unsolicited advice-givers’. 

I also went ahead and joined an online support group that consists of people who share my parenting philosophies. This is my way of learning from others who are raising their babies in a way that is similar to my own and helps me answer/handle those who don’t understand my viewpoints.

Bottom line, just as they say every pregnancy is different, I would say no two set of parents should have same/similar rules for their child. Every child is different, learns things differently and takes his/her own time in achieving the myriad milestones. Follow your own parenting rules and don’t let any one tell you that you are doing it all wrong.

   

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