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the mommyhood memos: mommy for president

Thursday, June 10, 2010

mommy for president

Nurse your baby to sleep! Never nurse your baby to sleep!

A paci will save your life! On your life, don’t you dare use a paci!

Cry it out! Don't traumatize your baby!

Wear your child to promote bonding! Don’t wear your child to promote independence!

Disposables! Cloth!

Breastmilk! Formula!

Back! Tummy!

Hyperscheduling! Demand feeding!

Family bed! Baby bed!

Okay... You get the point.

One of the first things I learned when I became pregnant with my first child is that there is an expert opinion on everything related to babies and parenthood… Not only does every parenting issue have a “right” and “wrong”, but there are plenty of experts to back these claims up!

And these don’t seem to be just preferences… these are outright carved in stone! We’re talking Right with a capital “R” and Wrong with a capital “W”. (Totally reminds me of American politics you’ve gotta pick a side folks!)

But yeah, for a first time mom it can be absolutely overwhelming. You read one book, and that’s it – you’re convinced. That is, until you read the other side which is equally convincing. It can be not only overwhelming, but frustrating and discouraging when you’re longing desperately to know what’s best for your child.

There’s an old proverb that says, “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him” (Pr 18:17). Hmmmm, sounds about right to me.

So I’ve realized that not only are there “expert” opinions on everything… but I’m also learning how to listen to both sides and filter them through my own intuition.

Because you know the absolute most important thing that I’ve quickly learned so far?

I’ve learned that I’m the only one that knows what’s best for my child. (Well, let’s include my dear husband in that category.) Ok, so make that: I’ve learned that my husband and I know what’s best for our child.

I confess, I’m still reading books on babies and parenting and all the rest of it. I’m still searching blogs and websites. I’m still chatting with my mommy-friends on facebook and by email and at my mum’s group. And yet now I’m doing it with a different perspective. I’m doing it as a mommy who knows that I know best.

So… there will be no picking sides for me; no fighting across the aisle. (Let’s leave politics out of parenting!) Every mom needs to find what works for her little one, for her, and for her family.

And that’s it! I’ve decided to form my own “party” in which I am the chief expert. Yes, in my parenting party, I am the President... President Mommy.

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At May 10, 2010 at 7:53 PM , Blogger Family said...

hello dear adriel, if i write to say that i am so proud of you - does that sound condescending? (i don't mean to be.) i think that your heart and your head are telling you GOOD things. this is your babe, that you share with YOUR babe and together you 'do life' AND life is ever changing. the fact that it changes and our children change continuously means life is interesting and challenging! i'm loving your pics, your writing, your recording levi's new life. love jane mama of noey and ari

At May 10, 2010 at 9:18 PM , Blogger adriel said...

thanks jane! no, that's not condescending at all - it's encouraging! thank you. :) isn't being a mom so fun and so amazing? 32 years coming for me but it was definitely worth the wait. do you have a blog too? x

At May 12, 2010 at 3:37 AM , Blogger Jhen.Stark said...

Oh if I could just count the number of times people told me I would "regret" my decision. I even had people saying I was decorating my nursery wrong for my baby.

The books and websites most always say "Every baby is different" but yet there are so many lists of black and white that its hard to keep up.

Currently, Joss is enjoying being in mommy's arms. She likes people and usually sits well in other's laps, but she is in her stage of feeling safe with mommy, so that means she cries in some people's arms (mostly my mother in law's). Which now means I get the "Oh, mommy must spoil you, you need to learn to be happy in other people's arms". I usually retaliate with, "No, she's just very loved and typically she does enjoy other people."

The condescending remarks seem to never end, but at least I know that everything I do for my baby is out of a deep sacrificial love and you can't ever go wrong there, right? ;0)

At May 12, 2010 at 3:40 PM , Blogger adriel said...

yeah, don't you "love" it when people talk to your baby but they're really talking to you?! oh for the love! hang in there mommy jhen. you're the best mommy in the world for joss, and no one else will be an expert on how to parent her except for you (and hubs of course)!!! you're amazing! x

At May 15, 2010 at 8:47 PM , Anonymous jessica m said...

i like this blog a lot adriel. i'm not even pregnant yet, but i've heard all of these conflicting views about babies thrown around-and it's already stressing me out! :) but when the day comes that i am pregnant/a new mommy, i may just think back to this blog and find a bit of peace, knowing that as a mom, you'll know what's best for your own little bub! loving the blogging...

At June 10, 2010 at 10:59 AM , Blogger LEN said...

hi adriel. you got a very nice and interesting blog here! so glad i've found it. i'm now a follower. want to be friends w/ you. i'm a filipina but residing here in sydney with my family since 2007. i'm also a mom. i can really relate to your post. i totally agree w/ u.. we as parents really know what's best for our children. if u have time, you may want to vist my blog also.

At June 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree!!! LOVE this post. :)
anne @

At June 11, 2010 at 3:25 AM , Blogger Liz said...

You are SO RIGHT! I went through the same thing when I was a new mom, i still struggle with the opposing views sometimes. I want there to be a right and a wrong for everything! But now I've realized I have to be the one who determines that :) Great post! Loved your interview too.

At June 11, 2010 at 6:34 AM , Blogger Mommycrat said...

Hear hear! I'm always amazed at how many people seem to know what's best for my child and feel the need to tell me.

I found it sometimes takes courage to take a choice you know others will dissapprove of (We recently struggled with the decision about whether to get our child a helmet because she has a flat head) - but in the end you just have to go with your gut and do what you think is best.

Great post!

At June 11, 2010 at 6:43 AM , Blogger bigfatmama said...

You go Girl!! God gave mothers a natural instinct to know what to do for our children and we need to be confident and use it!!

At June 14, 2010 at 3:27 AM , Blogger Cameron said...

I completely agree! I posted something like this on my blog -

I don't think there's anything wrong in moms sharing what has worked for them. I've love to hear advice! But what I don't like is when someone thinks that what they did is the RIGHT way to do it. I'll take in different types of advice because I'm a first time mom & don't know yet what will work. But what works may be different than what worked for someone else. I've had a lot of success with scheduling & sleep training, but I have a good friend who has done more attachment parenting & cosleeping & is perfectly happy with how their sleeping & eating has worked out. I feel like both of us are just moms doing what works best for our families & our babies!!

At July 6, 2010 at 2:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stopping by from Family Plots!

I think you put it perfectly. (As you know) I agree 110% that it should be based on the child and family. Truth be known, I just went with my heart. And I'm happy to say that so far my two year old is incredibly well adjusted and I think it's because I have raised her according to her specific needs and personality. Mommy For President is a great way to put it!! <3


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