My child is now on a schedule. I used to cringe at the word and now I am proud of it, weird how quickly we can change. I think it’s because it happened in a way that I felt comfortable with, not baby or parent led, but a mixture of the two. I never let her cry it out nor did I let my life be completely dictated by her wants, and I didn’t have to. I listened to her, followed her cues, and then guided her by setting a routine. I still co-sleep, I still nurse on cue, I still hold her as much as I can because I think those things are important. I’m not worried about her becoming “spoiled” or manipulative, she needs these things from me and I will always meet her needs. I know her in a way no one else ever will, and I trust my instincts with her. If it feels right I do it, if it doesn’t, I don’t.
This is not a request for advice. I do not want or need anyone to tell me what I need to do for my child or I will “regret it later”. I know it’s well meaning, but it really is unwanted. I don’t understand why people feel the need to grill me about my parenting style and choices and then tell me what I am doing wrong. I sometimes feel like every conversation is a verbal test and I will be graded on my responses.
I am not an attached parent, I am not Babywise or Ferber-ized, I am not parent led or baby led; I am a mix of all of these. I am a mother, I listen to my child but I also guide her. I follow her cues but I also iniate things on my own. That’s what I think a parents job is, to nurture and to guide. I hold Emi when she cries, I rock her to sleep, I nurse her when she’s hungry, yet I also let her cry when there’s nothing I can do, let her lay in bed and figure out how to fall back to sleep on her own, and I iniate or hold off feedings if I think that’s what she needs. I am her mother and it is my job to decide how I will do things, and the only other opinion that truely matters in our household is my husband’s.
I went into parenting thinking I needed to be a certain way, judging others for their styles or beliefs, but every child is different and every parent is different and what works for me may not work for you or for them. I try my best to be gentle with my daughter, to let her know she’s cared for, physically and emotionally. I love her with every fiber in my body and I will make sure she knows that every second of every day. If I do say so myself, I think we’re doing just fine.