Written by Farrah
I’m a single parent. And I’m twenty-four. This always seems to be a bit of a surprise to people because I seem to have my head above water.
People often comment on how laid back I am, especially about things to do with parenting. The fact of the matter is that there is so much out there to make a mother feel guilty about her choices, which is unsurprising.
We, as women, are judged on every aspect of our lives: if we wear makeup, if we don’t, if we are skinny, or fat, or in the middle, if we’re happy with ourselves, if we’re critical of ourselves. Everything is judged.
There lies a problem, however, in parenting. Because what you’re doing affects a child and so the judgment is harsher and can absolutely make you feel like the pits.
I don’t like to toot my own horn, but after a bachelors degree, three babies, two births, one funeral, and one miscarriage, I’ve got laissez-faire down to an art. And I’m going to tell you how to get there too.
It starts with an “mmmhmmm…”.
Remember when you were a teenager and you thought you knew everything? Be that
again. Smile, shrug, and say “okay, sure”, and then do whatever the fuck you want.
My theory is that as long as you’ve researched (properly, mind) what it is you want to do, then fine. Pros, cons, risks, benefits, if you know what you’re doing then do it. Nobody has any right to question what you’re doing with your child (obviously as long as you’re not putting them in any danger) and, if they do, a smile and a shrug should be enough to deter them from further questioning.
You’re a fucking parent now, not a child anymore. I mean, sure maybe you feel like you’re still sixteen, I certainly do at times, but you’re responsible for another life now. And that responsibility means that you get to make decisions, and you deserve to not feel bad or feel judged about the way you’re parenting.
Breastfeeding? Great. Bottle feeding? Great. Rocking baby to sleep? It’s not a “rod for your own back”, baby just wants to be close to you, and so what? It won’t be like that when they’re eighteen, so go with it.
My daughter used to cry every time I put her down until she was around twelve weeks, despite the “just let her cry, that’s what babies do!”, I did my thing, I held her, put her on my lap and ate my dinner with one hand.
What you decide to do doesn’t actually impact anybody else’s lives, does it? No? then fuck ’em.
Everything is better when you stop giving a shit about what other people think.
So next time somebody comments on your parenting, smile, say “mhmm… okay” and carry on doing whatever the fuck you were doing.
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