I'm so not a regular blog type gal, I realize this and am just going to accept myself for who I am. Maybe I'll be more compelled to blog and ramble with the arrival of newest and youngest, which should be any day...God willing!
I've been thinking a lot about joining a mommy/baby group again. I didn't have a lot of time for one when my second arrived as I already had a toddler under my heels and many of the groups cater to one age group, but now with both boys off to Montessori, I'm feeling like I can start anew. Coffee dates, little playdates, mommy and me yoga, chatting with groups of new moms....full stop!
I'm going to step out on a limb and generalize a bit, my full apologies, but I remember being a new mom, trying to find my way in the world, making friends, trying to determine what "kind" of mom I was. There are so many different categories, I was so confused, so worried, so stressed and even a little sad. Five years later, I realize that all that stress was for nothing. I was/am a cafeteria parent. I pick and choose what works. Some of my parenting falls under this label, other parts, might fall under another label. But really, other than finding a forum that might support that type of parenting, it's meant little to me in my day to day.
I wish I could give all new parents a heads up, because I see so many drawing lines in the sand based on what type of parent they decide they are. I can remember one playdate where moms with little guys barely 6 months old proudly state what kind of parent they are and I was sitting there confused and wondering if I had missed a class or something because I hadn't even heard of these terms til now. I ran home, very upset and turned to Google, which made me even more upset because I wasn't a type of parent.
Nearly five years later, two children later and one more on the way, I guess my type of parenting would be "Defensive parenting!" "Us vs. The Pint Sized Crowd" "Madly trying to type as my 2.5 year old is trying to convince me to go out in the rain!" In retrospect, none of those labels mattered. They still don't. New parents, I'm telling you, 5 years down the road, when your child is happily bringing you every weed in the garden as a present, whether you wore him 24/7 or not when he was 6 months old will mean little.
I think my best piece of advice to parents is to be loving, be available (except when blogging *g*) and follow your gut. Almost every parenting decision we've made based on our instincts has been a good one. It's there for a reason and doesn't usually let you down. If you're programmed like most parents to want the best for your child, it won't usually lead you down a wrong path and have confidence in your decisions. There are so many styles of parenting and everyone wants to be convinced that they're doing the right thing. Some may be overzealous in their approach and how they view other approaches. Have enough faith in yourself to know that you're doing what is best for your family and if you stray once in a while from being that perfect parent, forgive yourself, you're human and even with the best of intentions, us parents get tired, cranky and just plain fed up. Avoid the parenting rat race, it's every bit as draining and the work one and in the end, it pretty much ends up in the same wash. :)