Recently I have read a fair few articles about the best way to raise children. These include how to feed them, if you should stay home or return to work, should you immunise them and where they should sleep.
There is no greater stressor for parents than the thought that every action you make creates your child and who they will become. So when articles claim to know the best and only way to raise your children, parents tend to take notice.
The problem with this is these articles are sometimes not fact based, some not even mentioning a single credible study to prove their point. They are written with such fear mongering intent that all parents can do is read them and slowly start rocking in a corner believing they are solely responsible for their child's inevitable demise.
But wait, I have had a different thought.
Most parents want what is best for their children and make their choices accordingly. They listen to their common sense and credible advice and take great care of their children and their children grow up to be functioning, well rounded members of society.
Bottle fed or breast fed? Seriously, who cares? As long as the child is fed, does it matter? Do mothers really need to be made to feel bad because of how they feed their babies? Neither is going to hurt the child and both will help the child grow. So really don't harrass mothers about how they feed their babies. They are tired enough. And before people start talking about how breast is best, yeah it is. But if you can't breast feed, then bottle feeding is not the end of the world. And to people who think breast feeding is gross, really? Feeding a baby is gross? Grow up.
Working or stay at home mother? Some mothers have to work. It's called survival. Some mothers want to work. It's called freedom to choose. Some mothers want to stay home. It's called freedom to choose. Some mothers have to stay home. It's called survival. Either way, unless you are locking your child away in a cupboard, someone is looking after your child. They will know who their parent is. They will still love you. It's the decision of that family and that family alone. We shouldn't be making judgements on a family situation unless we are in that family situation.
The comments underneath some of these articles have prompted me to write this. There are some horrible people out there that need to learn to BACK OFF! There is an amazing difference between having an opinion and terrorising others about theirs. I have seen people be verbally abused for the way they raise their children when in all honesty they are doing a great job. When did people start believing that they could talk like that to others? Did they not have a mother?
Also the media needs to show some level of responsibility about what they choose to publish. Articles based on phony science that claim you will mess up your child if you don't do something or do something only encourage fear. Parents do not need more fear in their lives. They are responsible for a life and that is scary enough.
So to all the parents out there. Chances are high that you are doing a great job raising your children. Chances are they will look back on their childhood and smile. In the end, you can only do the best you can for your family. That's it.
Happy Mother's Day people out there. :)