Thursday, April 25, 2013
Please Stop Telling Me What To Do
Being a new mother is difficult for many obvious reasons and at the beginning, especially the first couple of days home from the hospital, I felt as though I needed all of the help I could get. However, my instincts kicked in fairly quickly and I began to realize that despite the advice I continued to get, I knew best for Squeaker. Now Squeaker is almost 11 weeks old and I'm starting to get annoyed because no one, except my husband, knows her as well as I do. It seems that many people are trying to be helpful by continuing to tell me what to do even though every baby is different and no one has been around her as much as I have.
I hope that no one is deeply offended by this post, although if someone is then he/she probably takes himself/herself too seriously and shouldn't be so easily offended. (Yes, this statement was meant to be ironic)
Don't get me wrong, if I start to feed my baby honey (which I won't do because I know I'm not supposed to) then please tell me that I am in the wrong, I don't want to inadvertently harm Squeaker. Otherwise, is it really important to be so nit picky? I feel like in this day and age there are people worried and stressed about everything, including things that a baby might actually be helped by having. For instance, there seems to be a lot of buzz among mothers on the web that say babies shouldn't wear sunscreen before the age of 6 months old... obviously young babies shouldn't be exposed to prolonged time in direct sunlight, but it seems better to be cautious and use a little sunscreen (especially if a hat or other barrier isn't being used). My pediatrician agrees and says to simply make sure that sunscreen doesn't get into Squeaker's eyes or on her hands (so that she won't eat it). Anyway, it's overexaderated worries and things of this kind that make me wish that people would just let me be me. I'm the mom, right?
I appreciate family and all they do for us. Sometimes I feel like they do try to take over though, ignoring the fact that I am the parent now. I think it's hard for parents to see thier children grow up and have children of their own. I wonder if I will be the same way with Squeaker when she has her first baby. Will I correct her and try to take over? Will I try to be the mother when I actually should be the grandmother? In the end, it seems, that my number one priority would still be to Squeaker and her first responsibility would be to her baby. I love you mom and I know that I will always be your number one priority. Thank you for always being there for me and trying to make my life easier. I am grateful everything you have done for me, namely I am grateful for how you raised me, and I know that I will be a good mother because of you.
This post is not meant to point fingers or accuse, I just have been feeling frustrated at the world because I want to be a good mother to Squeaker. The world (media, the web, books, school, work, society, facebook, family, friends, etc.) then takes that desire and constantly tries to tell me, as well as every other mother, how to be that good mother despite the fact that I might know better than them. The age-old request of parents to get a manual when their child is born seems to have gone overboard. There are too many manuals out there now, too many opinions made by hundreds of thousands of parents and sharing what has worked for them. I am going to be a different mother than any other who has ever lived and loved her children, becuase we are all different. That is what makes life so amazing. Let me be that unique mother to Squeaker.
So, in brief, this is a request for all the world to please stop telling me what to do. For those of you who are trying to be helpful and for those of you who just like to control things, I promise to ask when I want advice or help. I am not pretending to know everything, I just want to be able to be the mother I know I am inside without others trying to force their parenting ideology to me.