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Parenting is hard. That’s not new information, if you’re a parent you already know.

It’s hard because we’re tired. It’s hard because we have to constantly answer questions – ‘How do toasters work?’, ‘Why are we going to the doctors?’, Why is it a work day?’, ‘How do vegetables make me strong?’, ‘How are babies made?’.

It’s also hard because information is constantly changing.

Start solids at 4 months. Just kidding, start them at 6. Oh no we didn’t mean 6 we meant 4.

Make sure you start with rice cereal. Start with one steamed pureed organic vegetable. Only do baby-led-weaning.

Feed them nuts, quick! Oh my gosh they’re too little for nuts what if they’re allergic?

Dip their dummy in honey, they love that. Don’t let them have honey until they’re one, haven’t you heard of botulism?

Won’t somebody please think of the children?

How are we supposed to know what’s right? How can we make educated decisions when the smart guys don’t even seem to know what’s going on?

Should we trust the generation before us? Should we assume that because we turned out ok that they’ve done it right? But what if we’re the exception to the rule? If we have digestion issues is it because of something our parents unknowingly did or something we would have had no matter what?

Do we trust other mums on social media because they’re in the same position as us, going through the same things and making the same choices?

Do we just go for it, trust our gut, our women’s intuition? Isn’t that pretty much what parenting is?

Should I close my eyes, spin around three times, hold my breath and hope I land on the choice that is least likely to screw up my kid?

It’s no wonder so many parents are stressed. In a world where information isn’t clear, judgement is thrust upon us for every choice we make, and social media is the puppet master it’s a wonder we’re not all in straight jackets.

I don’t know what the solution is. Maybe we just need to wing it. It seems like we’re gambling a hell of a lot, but then again, everything we do in life is a gamble.

I suppose in the end all we can do is research, and then research again, regularly. Make decisions that we are comfortable with. Take advice from others, respect their opinion and keep the advice that suits you and your family. Kindly give advice to others and let them decide if it’s right for theirs.

And if we mess up it up? Well I suppose we probably won’t know for a while. I wonder if my parents are still on edge waiting to see if they did something to me as a baby that will cause me to grow an extra limb, or turn into a werewolf, or enjoy Justin Bieber’s music (the horror).

If, one day in the distant future, evidence is shown to prove that a decision that we made today has royally wrecked our kids, well, we will simply do what our parents did.

Blame it on the generation before us.

What are your thoughts? Please share with us in the comments below.

  • It is always good to keep informed when it comes to parenting but ultimately you just need to do what works for your family, each family/child etc is different.

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  • Personally I think we all have to find our way. We might search for information on a certain topic and form our opinion on that and let that opinion shape further by our experiences, but mostly it’s important to follow our own gut and nature. It’s good to be open, but not necessary to question our opinion all the time. Advice can be nice but you don’t have to follow up on it. Up to you to decide.

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  • My son is 3 and a half months old and exclusively breastfed. I’ve had my mum in my ear for weeks saying he needs food. Every peep he makes she blames it on the fact that I’m not feeding him food yet. I’ve done so much research and I’m just taking things as they come, I’m so confident being a first time mum, but when I’ve got someone in my ear constantly it can make me second guess myself. Holding my ground, I will know when he’s ready for food.

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  • hahaha. The concluding line sums it up nicely!

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  • Great comments and good advice. My tip is to not post too much on social media so you don’t keep getting told you are not doing it right!
    Every parent has to learn his/her way – and every child is different, that’s why there is so much confusing information out there. All you can do is your best!

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  • Information overload for parents these days. Even if you try to use intuition, the doubts creep in because of the constant bombarding of ways to parent. It’s a tough gig but I guess it always has been and everybody just tries to do their best!!!

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  • When my kids were little I know my Mum meant well but she drove me mad.
    Because my eldest was a baby that cried all the time she kept telling me she was hungry and obviously I didnt have enough milk and I should give her a bottle as well. She was not hungry and was putting on weight. Then when she reached 4mths old my Mum kept saying I needed to start her on solids…she was hungry. This hungry thing went on for the entire first year….I stayed calm and bit my tongue but she seriously drove me crazy.

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  • One day a friend of our came down to our place and brought his little girl with him. It was a warm day and unfortunately she didn’t have any shoes on. She hadn’t long been walking so he probably simply didn’t think about it. The two guys went out to the shed to discuss a hobby they were both interested in. Missy decided she wanted to walk around so I went and “rescued” her. I carried her around the yard talking to her for awhile to entertain her. She was fascinated as our yard was a lot bigger and had different things that were a fascination to her. Her constant question was not “why” but “what’s that?”. By the time they went home I though I was going to dream “what’s that?”. She was a delightful child. I just didn’t expect a question to be so different to he usual.

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  • So incredibly true, great sentiments

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  • So very true, parenting has some pretty rough days!

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  • This is so true I have to constantly tell my mother in law not to give my children this and that


    • It’s tough finding the balance of letting them be a part of it and you making the choices right for you, isn’t it?

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  • My husband and I decided from very early on that we would parent the way our parents did, after all, we turned out okay (I think). As for changing technology, we try to incorporate what we think is useful, and disregard the rest. As you said in the article, we won’t know for a while if this is the best way to go.


    • Everything is a gamble as a parent! As long as you and hubby are on the same page I think you’re already ahead!

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  • I love the Whys? It is the way the children learn and the way we learn too! Parenting is a tough ride at times, but well worth it. :)

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  • Right? I think we’re bombarded with too much information these days and it’s delivered right into our lap constantly. I find unplugging helps me destress and not become overwhelmed with information about my kids.


    • That’s a great tip! We definitely need some quiet time every now and then to focus don’t we? Now if only the kids understood that ;)

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  • Very well written. This is so true.

    Reply

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