Not wanting to breastfeed or to have a vaginal birth
When becoming a parent, especially a mom, no matter what you do, you will do it wrong in some people’s eyes. It’s interesting really because there are few clear right and wrong situations in parenting. Others’ opinions about you often have something to do with the person judging you rather than what you do.
Parents I work with often want a simple answer: what’s right or wrong in a specific situation or what’s best for the child; to breastfeed or not for example, will I ruin my baby if I don’t breastfeed?
Doing what we perceive to be the best for our children by striving to be the best people and parents we can be is all that matters.
The truth is not universal (even though some strongly believe it is), it’s very individual. Instead of trying to find out what’s right about every specific thing and situation, find out what makes you feel good and happy. That is the most important guideline you can ever follow. When you feel well and happy you’re far more attentive and responsive to your child. And the best at knowing what makes you happy is you. So trust yourself!
There is no simple answer to how to be a good parent. How parents should treat their children stems from us as parents making the time to learn, understand and empathize with our children, meeting them in places of compassion, connection, communication and collaboration.
To meet those goals, we must first be mindful of ourselves and our happiness.
In today’s fast paced society, a mindful approach lets us take time to slow down and consider and evaluate our own reactions and actions to events and situations. By furthering our understanding of our boundaries, expectations and triggers, we become more outwardly self-aware and can react to events from a calm, centred state of mind.
By possessing this awareness we leave behind unnecessary feelings such as self-criticism or perfectionism. These only hold us back from discovering new perspectives we had not considered before, so teaching ourselves to stand back from a situation and avoid an impulsive, negative reaction helps us not only in our parenting but also in our day-to-day relationships with our colleagues, friends, and spouses.
As a result, our children learn and share in our experiences, making them balanced, independent, empathetic, and empowered individuals who are more inclined to continue being aware of their words, actions and feelings throughout their lives and whose communication skills blossom in the safety and confidence of self-expression.
And if someone insists that you should breastfeed or have a vaginal birth I recommend you to take one of two paths:
- Become a researcher, ask “why?”, “how do you know that?”, “where have you read that”, “can you show me a source to that information, I’d like to know more?”. Through asking relevant questions others cannot answer they don’t have much more to add because these are opinions, not science.
- Just don’t answer, you don’t owe others an explanation.
To help leave right and wrong behind, and place your attention back on your core happiness, give my free, happy parent eBook a read!