February 2, 2011

You're doing it wrong!

Hey Mom, what is this thing the nurse put me in???!!
The title of this is exactly what I heard the nurse say to me as I swaddled Thing One and she looked on. You would think that as a new mom I would have been more compliant and done things as the nurse was saying to do. The thing is that I had swaddled many babies by this point, just not my very own. The nurse kept saying "no tuck his hands in". Again she had no clue what I was doing. For the brief couple of hours I had been with my son I noticed he was comforting himself by grasping his hands in front of his face and sucking the top of his tiny knuckles. To me it only seemed obvious to swaddle him with his little grasped hands in front of him to keep him calm. I really resented that nurse for telling me I was swaddling my child wrong, when she had no idea who I or my child were.
Ahhhh!!! this is so much better, thank you Mommy!
I have read my share of baby books and debates on everything from circumcision, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, day care, babysitting, treating colds, preventing colds, toddler tantrums, discipline, potty training. I will tell you this, all that reading never prepares you thoroughly for your own children. It is helpful in some situations and you try the methods others have suggested. I am not closed off to other opinions and suggestions, I just know my own children.

I think that is why it bothers me when I hear or read posts in which a mother is being criticized by her methods of parenting. Just because it may be different than your own parenting ways does not make it wrong. I have had my share of debates about certain things that I feel may be dangerous for a child, but a debate is different than straight criticism. 
I have a friend Pretty Eyes who is very protective of her son who is merely a month older than mine. When it comes to parenting I have to say I'm a little more relaxed than she is. Is it wrong? No, by no means. She has ALWAYS been more cautious and wiped everything with antiseptic wipes. When we were child free we walked barefoot on the streets after a long night of dancing. I went home and crashed on the couch, and she scrubbed her feet, rinsed and scrubbed them again at three in the morning. When we were pregnant. She spent most of her time away from people who were sick, rested a lot, and was very vigilant of her diet. I was around tons of people, many who might have been sick, and ate everything in sight! Recently Thing One had a swimming pool birthday party and while my son had trunks on hers had a full body suit with extra sunscreen. I find nothing wrong with her methods. They are different than mine, yes. I have heard many criticize her and other parents like her, say things like "she isn't letting him do things"  blah, blah, blah.

Well what you don't know is Pretty Eyes had a son before this one. He was born premature, he was sick for the first month of his life. He had some health complications and she fought to keep him as healthy as possible. He was doing well until he was about 4 months old. He fell ill and he left us all much too soon.

You never know the reason why parents make choices in how they parent a child. It may be that they know their children's quirks the moment they are born, it may be that this parent's personality is the reason they do things a certain way, or it may be that you want nothing to happen to your child because of the loss you feel. Parents are humans with feelings, so "suggest nicely" and "don't criticize harshly". You may never know what is behind that parents logic if you don't put yourself in their situation with their children.  So parents when you hear someone say you are doing it wrong all you have to say is, that may be true for you but not for my children and I. :)


  1. what a beautiful post...ty...looking forward in reading more...new friend and follower

  2. Yes, yes, a THOUSAND times yes! Great post!!!


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