If there is one thing I’ve learned about being a parent it’s that no matter what you do someone is going to have an opinion on it and that opinion will probably be that you should be doing it differently.
If you go back to work you are abandoning your child but if you stay at home then you are giving them a poor role model to grow up with.
If you bottle feed you are condemning them to a life of disease and poor intelligence but if you breastfeed you are going to make your child clingy and needy.
If you feed them from a jar rather than homemade you are basically giving them a terminal disease but if you make all the food they eat you are just making your life harder than it needs to be and wasting your time.
If you co sleep you are creating problems going forward and that child will never sleep alone but if you don’t co sleep then you are abandoning them and not letting them form a healthy bond with you.
If you feed them a McDonalds you should have your children taken away from you.
If you put them in disposable nappies or diapers you are ruining the planet but if you put them in cloth you are being a sanctimonious mummy.
If you make lots of craft projects with them then you are a Pintrest Parent and subject to much judgement and people asking if you don’t have anything better to do with your time. If you let them watch TV or play with a tablet or phone though you may as well not be there and they’ll never learn to read or interact with other children.
If you’ve made it to this point in the list without rolling your eyes then I congratulate you. I haven’t even touched on dummies / pacifiers,older mums v younger mums, thumb sucking, older children in pushchairs and shared bedrooms for children.
Even having a child in the first place is subject to public opinion – if you have one child then you are cruel and that child will be lonely forever, two is just too expensive and the world is already over populated, three is a strange, odd number and heaven forbid if you have over four children. Over four children and you are insane, in need of a hobby and a drain on tax credits and benefit resources.
You literally cannot win at any stage so I’ve come to assume the best thing to do is just to stop bloody trying. Just do what works for you – parenting is hard enough without putting some standards put upon you by some invisible person wagging their finger at you and making tutting noises.
So lets all just stop trying to please this invisible, judgemental and total sod of a person.
If your child is safe, fed, loved and as healthy as they can be then you are doing just fine. If at your most sleep deprived state or when pushed to the very limits of your patience you make time to love them, feed them, teach them what you can and make sure they are cared for to the best of your ability then you are doing just fine.