Dealing With Other’s Opinions on How to Raise Your Child Before They Have Even Arrived

It’s bound to occur- those unwanted parenting tips and tricks that somehow find their way as you are moments away from experiencing parenthood itself.

Whether these “helpful” remarks come from your friends, your co-workers or your parents, everyone tends to have an opinion on how to raise your child.

It’s wild to consider how different each child can be, too. Our authentic personalities undeniably form almost instantly. Parents swear that their children’s personality traits have been the way they were from birth.

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With that thought in mind, while we, at times, expand our families and have more than one child, we see how we must use our parenting techniques in different ways. Some children need more guidance while others thrive off independency. As difficult as this can be, it reminds us of how every individual is different; even young children.

So, why do others believe that their parenting techniques will work for our own kids? Why must we generalize our assumptions, whether it is towards sleeping habits, dietary decisions or school choices?

We also cannot deny: others influence many of our preconceived decisions. Consider purchasing a crib or decorating the nursery. We automatically assume that our infant will sleep soundly in their crib, in their own rooms; however, most of them end up co-sleeping to conveniently help the parent during nighttime feeds, changes and settling. Then, we find ourselves Googling SIDS, hearing about what our parents did when we were young and consider the ill effects of our new sleeping choices.

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Filtering what we hear will become our new norm. It happens nearly the moment we conceive or have those adoption papers written up. We must trust our Mom Gut, go with the flow and focus our energy towards the situations we feel is most vital for our own children.

The intentions behind these outside views are often shared to be helpful. (It takes a village- don’t forget). Though, they can sadly cause us to doubt our parenting choices and focus on ideas that don’t suit our unique family dynamic. We are all incredibly unique. Let’s not forget that, either.

Embrace the moments before the real hustle and bustle begins. I encourage you to form the strength you need to hear what others have to say, take in what you believe to be helpful, and forget what you know to be unnecessary for your family. Be warned: these opinions and suggestions will not end the moment Baby is here. So, build that thick skin and do what’s best for you and your child, Momma. It’s not worth the wasted worry.

 

Words by Mother Muse Julian Jamie

Images by Sharon Schuster for print No.10 of Mother Muse

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