Monday, 8 October 2007

I hate the Mommy Olympics.

Raise your hand if you can point out the five year old who was breastfed/coslept/"worn" as opposed to the five year old who was born by c-section/bottlefed/slept alone from birth.

Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, I thought not.

So many people think that these early months and years have a bearing on the REST OF THE CHILD'S LIFE!!11!!! Sure, the early years are important, but your style of parenting needs to be taken in the long view.

One of the cool things about having three kids is that I can conduct at-home experiments. I am a different sort of parent now than I was four and a half years ago, and all three of my kids have experienced different parenting choices: co-sleeping and not, cloth diapering and not, solids at four months and not, etc. They are all happy and healthy kids, and I don't think anyone would be able to figure out who got what sort of treatment during infancy.

I hate seeing anyone doubt themselves over valid parenting choices that result in happy children. Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to have the long view when raising our children, and even though the early years are intense, they are short lived.

So any of you out there who are experiencing pressure from friends, frenemies, families or in-laws who may view your parenting choices as weird or just plain "wrong," take note: YOU ARE DOING A GOOD JOB. We all make mistakes, but on the whole, I have great faith that our efforts are going to pay off. Just take one day at a time.

And, if you've succeeded in avoiding the Mommy Olympics, beware the trap that awaits you in 20 years' time: The Grandma Wars. Are you more grandmotherly than your daughter's/son's inlaws? Let the games begin!

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