Opinions. Just like Free Will they are part of being a human being. You may think a certain man a complete plank, while others believe he is God's gift, or your idea of food heaven is someone else's food hell. Let's face it, we are faced with hundreds of opinions every day and when it comes to parenthood EVERYBODY has an opinion on EVERYTHING. I have said it before, I was probably the most opinionated person ever pre kids. There was so many things I wouldn't do, or wouldn't allow my kids to do. The list was endless. However this changed as soon as I became a parent, and I often wonder why those that have had kids can still be so opinionated.
Last week the toddler and I stopped in Neros for a babychino. Pre kids- 'WTF is a babychino? It's warm milk, what sort of pretentious crap is that?' After kids- 'Ahh a babychino, a frothy little cup of pure heaven which gives me approximately five minutes of toddler silence to allow myself the opportunity to remember how to breathe'. I placed the cup of joy in front of my almost two year old and in the 4 minutes and 27 seconds of peace that ensued I took the liberty of eavesdropping on random conversations. I admit, I have an eavesdropping problem. I blame it on being a writer and creating characters from snippets of conversation. Really, I am just nosey.
To my left a couple were discussing their daughter in law (from what I could gather) and how disgusting it was allowing their grandchild to still have a dummy at two years old. I immediately saw red. Given they were discussing a daughter in law clearly suggests they had at least one child themselves for a daughter in law to be able to marry into the family? In which case they must know the trials and tribulations that come with toddlerdom. I almost stood up for the absent In Law!
For all the opinions that I had pre kids, I now have a counter opinion some of these include;
- Dummies- (I used to HATE dummies) you know what, if the child is pacified then the parents have a little bit of their sanity restored, and that will always be a good thing right? And let's face it they are not going to go off to uni with a dummy in their back pocket! (And if they do that's their decision, mind your own!)
- Breastfed/bottlefed- is the child starving? No? Good.
- Co sleeping- Reassurring your child in the middle of the night, holding them, loving them. What can possibly be wrong with that? If you are all sleeping, and are all able to function like human beings then that is the important thing.
Thumbsucking- see dummies... I still miss sucking my thumb.....
Homeschooling/ Schooling- is the child happy, learning, a valuable member of society? Then who cares HOW they are learning.
Baby LED weaning Vs purée- like the milk thing, who cares as long as they are fed.
I could go on, and on, but the moral of my story is, having had kids all my negative opinions went out of the window. Each child is different. I am finding daily I am having to adjust my parenting skills to cater for both children. Parenting life is complicated, and hard and exhausting. If we can find a little way of helping to make it through the harder parts of the day then surely it can't be a bad thing. Even if it's not a method you would have chosen yourself as a parent why not look at the benefits and not the negatives? I think it is about time we all mind our own business and instead say, you are a parent, it is hard, well done for just getting through today! Well, that's my opinion anyway...