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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : Quit Judging And Start Parenting


Quit Judging And Start Parenting

After reading this article written by a friend who writes the parents.com blog, Great Expectations, I took a step back to examine not just my birth story, but how I parent. I guess I should say how we parent, since Matt is an integral part of this whole parenting strategy, which is an entirely foreign concept to us. But, I think we are getting the hang of it, even if it means letting my baby take a nap in his jumper.

Sure, we do things that aren't by the book. Yes, we feed Luke to sleep. A habit started from the time I nursed him as a newborn. I stopped nursing him at 6 1/2 months, and he now takes formula exclusively. Do I feel bad about that? Sometimes, yes, but I think it is more out of fear of judgment that somehow I am not "doing what's best" for my baby by, heaven forbid, giving him formula.

We don't let Luke cry it out, and attend his needs whenever he is fussy or crying. I remember times of anxiety and stress as a little girl, and the instant, warm calm that washed over me as soon as my mom's caring face appeared. I can only imagine that is how Luke feels, even if he is crying because he doesn't want to go to sleep. We work through it until he is content with the notion that it is time for bed. 

The belief that holding your children too much will spoil them doesn't exist around here. If Luke crawls up to our legs, yanking our pants to be held, we hold and kiss that little man until he can't stand it anymore.

I believe in letting my baby explore the world around him, therefore I don't fuss over Luke getting into the dirt or whatnot. He's a boy. That's what they do. I try to prevent him from eating dog poo and the likes, though ;)

We let Luke watch kid friendly cartoons (yes, that means TV -- gasp!), try not to make a big fuss when he falls and hurts himself, and smile and laugh with him as much as possible.

Like the article mentioned above, we should celebrate our successes and the choice we made to be parents, instead of giving the side-eye and casting our judgments in the parenting decisions of others (and obviously, there are abhorrent situations of abuse and neglect, but I am not speaking of those terribly unfortunate circumstances). The entire story and truth of a situation is never visible to a third party observer, so spitting out opinions is futile. Every child possesses a unique character and set of needs, and we are the ones that know our children best, right? As long as we are putting our best foot forward every day with our kid's ultimate interest in mind, this whole nutty parenting thing somehow works itself out. And according to those wise old folks we call grandmas and grandpas, somewhere in the middle of it all, we reap the rewards of understanding life just a little better.

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At October 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

couldn't agree more. it's all about what works best for you as the parent, and of course...the child.

I've tried my best not to listen to others when it comes to how I should parent my child. Actually, when I don't listen to them...I find I am able to be a better parent.

Great post.


At October 22, 2012 at 10:16 AM , Blogger Sabrina said...

you took the thoughts right out of my head with this post. We do everything you mentioned above with our son as well as I don't feel bad about it. People tell me all the time to let him "cry it out" but I feel that at his age especially (4 1/2 months) that it is to early and that in the long rung that could cause further harm because he will feel that he wasn't loved. We make our son feel loved in anyway we can and if that means having someone hold him when he wants then so be it.

At October 22, 2012 at 10:21 AM , Blogger steph nelsen said...

such a great reminder. i have struggled with keeping my parenting opinions to myself on occasion . i have a friend who, i feel, spanks her children too young (under 2) and gives her 6 year old adult pepto...we have had some heated discussions about it that always leave me feeling guilty and regretful. i mean, those aren't choices i would make with my own child and not exactly abuse or neglect...but hard for me to keep my opinions to myself. and of course, she finds me overprotective and prone to spoiling. parenting is hard : /

At October 22, 2012 at 1:03 PM , Blogger Jan said...

OMG I love this! I'm not a mom but I hate it when parents are trying to be so perfect. LOL! I'm suer Luke is loving all the attention so keep it up :)

I'm having a giveaway on my blog if you're interested :)

At October 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen sista!

At October 22, 2012 at 1:47 PM , Blogger Jessica Holly said...

ha agreed! If there's anything people are opinionated about it's raising kids! Everyone always thinks they know the BEST way! But everyone and every child is SOOO different- there's no cookie cutter way to be a parent. As long as you love them- that's all that counts :)

At October 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM , Blogger Erin Collins said...

Love it! Totally agree. Great post Abbey!

At October 22, 2012 at 5:37 PM , Blogger Gina said...

so needed to hear this today, thank you!

At October 22, 2012 at 5:42 PM , Blogger Anna Demko said...

Love your take on the parenting idea... Everyone has a different point of view, every child is different so let the parenting me different too... It's only logical...
It's amazing that when people stop judging they get a lot more done...


At October 22, 2012 at 6:58 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

this is so refreshing and encouraging! thank you. (:

At October 22, 2012 at 7:11 PM , Blogger Shawna Faye said...

So good! I refused to read a single "parenting" book while I was pregnant because a) there are SOOO many different opinions out there, even among the so-called experts and b) how in the blazes was I supposed to know which one was the right one for me and my baby. So my mom gave me some wonderful advice when she said "read your baby, not a baby book" and that has worked out great for us. We co-slept for 12 months, we only nursed for 2 months, we don't do the cry it out, I try to give her as much freedom as possible to explore and learn because that is what she needs and wants to do the most. And I totally get that what I'm doing probably wouldn't work for most people, but that's ok, it works for us. And I also find that because I'm not set on one specific parenting style I can kinda roll with the punches, since it seems like my daughters needs change so much with each developmental stage that she goes through.

At October 23, 2012 at 5:30 AM , Blogger Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

New follower! Love the blog and your shop. I really appreciate this post because everything works differently for everyone. It's a reminder we all need to remember!

At October 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Senja said...

I really agree with everything and am so happy you wrote it. I am a new mom myself, our daughter is almost 4 months old it is hard to figure out what is right with so many opinions everywhere. :)

At October 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM , Blogger ahappygirl said...

YOU, my dear, are incredible!

thank you, thank you for sharing your heart in such a way. sharing parenting aspects in this crazy blog world can be so extremely difficult. kudos to you!

i am so thrilled i found your blog! your newest follower! :)


At October 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM , Blogger Lischen said...

Great post!! :)


At November 14, 2012 at 7:40 AM , Blogger Heather said...

Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

At November 18, 2012 at 2:32 PM , Blogger Bekka said...

I never said a proper thank you for sharing this. I hate the judgment and comparison that comes with pregnancy and parenting. It's a rough go at times and I wish people were just supportive. Glad you've got a strong parenting backbone. Luke is such a cutie.


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