Parenting bloggers use countless labels to define their differences from each other. We’re “co-sleepers,” “breast feeders,” and “stay-at-home moms” – or we’re entirely the opposite. All bloggers are guilty of labeling themselves at one time or another – including me. It’s a necessity for finding your niche – but sometimes we take it too far.
It starts innocently – we use labels as a way of finding others who employ the same methods we do, but eventually, many of us develop factions in order to “blog fight” with one another through our comments and our social media pages. The co-sleeping moms and the sleep-trainers accuse one another of veritable child abuse on Facebook, while the stay-at-homers and the working moms battle for moral superiority on Twitter.
The truth, which we all know in our mommy hearts, gets swept away by the ocean of negativity, but if we stop and reflect for just a minute, two facts become as clear as day:
1. No system works for every baby.
Babies aren’t machines – they’re little people, and they have varied preferences. The only things every baby universally needs are love, food, shelter, and a relatively stress-free environment. This brings me to point number two…
2. A happy mommy makes for a happy baby.
What babies need more than anything else is the love and attention they get from a happy mommy. No other need is more important. If you are happiest when you co-sleep, you should do that. If you would go crazy without a kid-free bed, then you should sleep train.
If you love your job, don’t give it up for your child – you’ll only resent her, and that will not be healthy for either of you. But if the idea of going back to work after your child is born fills your heart with a feeling of helpless depression, and you can afford to stay home by cutting corners, then don’t go back.
In other words, follow whatever method will make you the happiest. Don’t let guilt drive you to Dr. Sears when you’d rather follow Dr. Ferber, and vice-versa. Then, most importantly, don’t guilt other mothers who have found different solutions than yours. What works for you may not work for them – and they know their babies better than you do.
Thankfully, the majority of parenting bloggers I’ve met work hard to support one another! Let’s keep supporting each other!
Do you have any blogging friends that use different parenting strategies than you do?
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