How to Feel Confident in Your Parenting Choices
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One of the hardest parts of parenting is making choices. Choices that you know will affect your child’s life significantly! And on top of that, you can face opposition from your spouse, your own parents, your friends, and even strangers on the Internet! All those negative voices can make you doubt your parenting choices and question whether you’re really doing the right thing.
When I was nursing Emma, I let her sleep in my bed. There are strong proponents and opponents of cosleeping at every turn! And the guilt from not knowing if I was doing the right thing was even worse combined with the lack of sleep! Eventually I settled into my decision because it was what worked for our family – I’m a light sleeper, she was waking up countless times at night to nurse, and I was recovering from two abdominal surgeries so getting out of bed was a challenge!
It’s not easy to know when to listen to others who are telling you that you’re wrong. Especially when that person is a close family member or friend! (If you and your husband disagree on parenting choices, I have a separate post for that!) Here are my best tips for knowing when to stick to your beliefs, when to back down, and how to keep strong in your decision once you’ve made it!
When to Back Down
If the issue won’t affect your kid’s development or their long-term well-being, it’s probably not all that important! Consider letting it go to keep the peace in your inner circle.
Risks a Relationship
Does the issue jeopardize a relationship that you’re not willing to give up? If it’s also insignificant, let it go!
Do you know someone who suddenly believes strongly in something once they’re questioned? Even if they weren’t sure about it before? Don’t be that person! If you weren’t sure about it to begin with, there’s no need to get defensive.
When to Stand Up!
Safety & Development
If the issue is something really important that will affect your child’s safety or development, don’t back down! Something like using car seats should never be optional.
Unethical or Immoral
If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma, speak up! Let your kids see you holding to your values.
Willing to Let Go of Them
People on Twitter aren’t always nice! Be willing to let go of those small relationships, especially if they create negativity in your life. This might also apply to Aunt Linda who lives the next state over, always criticizing you for using Tylenol instead of brandy to cure teething pain like she did in the good old days!
Gut Feeling & Intuition
If you have a strong gut feeling that something is right for your child, stick to it. More often than not, these feelings are right!
How to Stick to Your Parenting Choices
Remember Your Reasons
You had reasons for making your choice: remember them! Repeat them and memorize them. If someone confronts you about your decision, you will already have well-formed reasons ready to go!
It’s Your Kid
That’s your baby, and you’re her mom! You’ve been given the blessing and challenge of choosing what’s right for her. Remember that you’re the one in charge.
Read & Research
Sometimes it helps to hear from other people! Read blogs (here are all my parenting posts!), anecdotes, and studies to help you get a feel for the choices others have made. Seeing another person’s perspective can help you figure out your own and what feels right to you! But remember that a good amount of parenting studies have more studies that contradict them.
Find a Friendly Voice on Your Side
That may be a close friend, a blogger or a parenting book that sums up your parenting choices. Whatever it is, it can be nice to have someone on your side when you feel like the whole world is against you!
Keep Your Perspective
It’s so important to keep your eyes on the prize! You want a peaceful, sustainable life for you and your kids. Keep that in mind when making your parenting choices, and you’ll be on your way to making the right choices and sticking to them!
Do you struggle with people in your life who judge your parenting choices? Tell me in the comments!
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