When AJ was born, I wanted, with all my being, to be the perfect parent to him. I literally had nothing to give. At the mere age of 21, I had no parenting experience and was in for quite a surprise.
I did hours, days, months of research because MY kid deserved only the best.
Which bottle was best for breastfed babies that prevented colic simultaneously?
When should I start solids?
What all-natural way could I solve his diaper rash, his allergic reactions?
Everything and anything remotely related to AJ, I researched and tried to perfect. I went through many brands of diapers, lotions, bottles, clothes, strollers, car seats, etc.
What did I gain from all this?
A big dose of postpartum depression.
I let go of who I was before AJ and bullied myself for not doing top-notch at a job I was supposed to be naturally good at. I beat myself up if he got a rash or colicky. I labeled myself an inadequate parent when he wouldn’t eat solids. And when my milk supply started decreasing? It was a nightmare.
When did it all end?
One day, I don’t know when, I finally decided to stop. I was so overprotective, analytical and self-destructive. I had to teach myself that AJ is a normal boy. He learns at his own pace. He gets sick, falls down and scrapes himself. Medicine from a pharmacy is OKAY, even if it’s not all-natural. Formula-feeding is just as good.
It’s amazing how freeing it can be to live this way. There’s so much information out there on the best ways to raise our children and most of it can be difficult to process. Our children are not machines to be programmed. They have personalities, likes and dislikes And our job is to learn them and work with them.
AJ was a late bloomer when it came to crawling, walking, talking and he still doesn’t eat solid food at the current age of 16 months. He prefers letters over numbers and cartoons in Spanish. And I work with him. He thrives so much more now that I lay back and let him take the lead.
Does it make me a perfect parent?
Am I inadequate because of it?
I no longer strive to be the perfect parent and we are happy the way we are. My opinion is that a childhood must be full of the bumps, bruises and NORMAL. To me, it’s normal to have TV time and junk food occasionally. It’s normal to have Tylenol and drink formula. It’s normal to have an erratic sleep schedule.
Normalize your parenting and your children. It won’t be easy but thpey’ll be so much more happy because of it and you? You’ll be free, honey.