Take Your Opinion Elsewhere

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement to make. It’s a big one! Are you ready for it? Make sure you’re sitting down. Okay. Here it is:

I don’t care about your opinion when it comes to my parenting.

Not even a little bit, not anymore. I remember when R was younger, I used to constantly compare myself to other parents and I was always wondering which way was the “right” way to do things, because I always wanted to make sure I was on the “right” side of each parenting issue. Really, though, the mommy wars get exhausting after a while, and they’re not even worth participating in. Nobody benefits. (If you don’t know what “the mommy wars” are, post an article on one of your social media accounts about breastfeeding in public or cry it out or the benefits of cloth diapering and watch what happens. It’s kind of like chumming the water when you’re looking for sharks.)

I’m so tired of the unsolicited advice. My daughter is almost a year and a half old now, I’m pretty sure that if I haven’t gotten the hang of things yet, I probably never will.

Yes, I am still breastfeeding my toddler; no, she doesn’t really eat much food, and really, you have no reason to be concerned about that. Did you get a medical degree overnight that entitles you to an opinion on her eating habits? We’ve already talked to the pediatrician about it and there’s nothing to be concerned with.

Yes, we do let her sleep in our bed; no, she won’t be sleeping with us when she’s sixteen, I’m pretty confident of that. What teenager sleeps with their parents? Come on, that’s just ridiculous. She’s not even two yet. We’ll transition her when she’s ready, which will likely be soon. She’ll get there. Don’t you worry about us.

Yes, we do tend to her needs right away; no, she’s not going to be raised to be an entitled brat. You see, we’ve always gotten better results when we’ve tended to her needs fairly quickly, and even now as a toddler, when she absolutely needs something, we don’t keep it from her. That doesn’t mean that every time she cries for my phone or the television that she gets what she wants. It does mean that when she wants to be held, we hold her; when she wants a snack, we give it to her right away; and when she wants to play, yes, I stop what I’m doing and I play with her.

For those who have mentioned sleep training to me in the past, we don’t do that either. She still nurses to sleep, that’s what works for us. We’ll stop doing it either when she’s ready or when I get sick of doing it. And, no, we have not and will never use the cry it out method if we ever do decide to sleep train. It’s not something I’m comfortable with.

I could go on and on about the choices we’ve made for her. Some of them are unpopular in many of the social circles I’m a part of, and that’s okay. Not everyone can agree on everything, that’s what makes life interesting, but unless I specifically ask you for advice, keep it to yourself. You might as well talk to a brick wall, because I genuinely don’t care about the opinion you have on how we choose to parent. You shouldn’t care about how other people view your parenting style, either. Is your child fed, loved, happy, and healthy? Good, mine too, let’s talk about something else now.

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