Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Loving the Mummy I Am

What kind of mother am I? I've been thinking about this a lot over the last six months.  I'm certainly not a Tizzie Hall mother.  I read the book, I considered the book, but following the book just wasn't for me.  Next there are the books by the late Tracey Hogg, been there, read those too.  It seems so-called baby whisperers and I are just not compatible.  While their theories and practices may sit well with other mothers they just did not for me.  Then there is attachment parenting.  I certainly aim to build a secure attachment with BabyB-B, but I'm not sure I'm AP enough to be considered an attachment parent in AP circles.  So, where does this leave me?  
BabyB-B snoozing in her Moby at 5 months
Well, I like to consider myself a gentle parent, an in tune parent, a responsive parent.  I don't quite belong under any of the traditional labels.  I breastfeed with pride, practice baby led weaning, will not let my baby cry it out, feed her to sleep and co-sleep part time.  I may be left out of the group but I am learning to love the mummy I am because after six long, but rewarding and wonderful, months I realise that I am exactly the mummy BabyB-B needs and wants.  I'm not a perfect mummy, but I am her mummy and that is all she cares about.  I finally have the confidence to accept my parenting practices and to be comfortable with them.  
Avocado sandwich for lunch
Many of my mummy friends have told me that they have been judged or made to feel guilty by others about their parenting practices.  I often wonder whether all of this judgment is real.  How much of this judgment by others is true judgment and how much of this so-called judgment is really their own guilt and doubt in their decisions coming to the fore?  Don't take this as me saying there is no judgment out there.  I, myself, have been on the receiving end of raised eyebrows and knowing glances from parents of older children.  

We all have crises of confidence and doubts as to whether our parenting approach is "right".  I've had a couple myself recently.  However, at the end of the day I look at my happy, thriving little girl and remind myself that I must be doing something right.  All the talk about judgment brings to mind that old saying about loving yourself before expecting others to love you.  How can you expect others to accept your parenting style if you don't first accept it yourself?
Kisses for Mummy

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