Get Real

Parenting is hard enough without judging and comparisons, isn’t it?

I love that I’m part of a community of moms who have each others’ backs. But that doesn’t make it any less difficult to live up to other people’s (and sometimes our own) standards.

“Doesn’t he take a bottle?”
“Doesn’t he take a pacifier?”
“Are you sure he’s getting enough to eat?”
“Is he on a schedule?”
“Is he sleeping through the night?”
“You spoil him.”
“You’re depriving him.”
“You’ll wish you’d done it differently.”

I’m in the middle of reading an excellent book by Dr. Tim Kimmel called Grace Based Parenting. The bottom line is that impossible expectations will always be broken, and Grace is more important than hard rules when it comes to raising and loving our children.

While the book isn’t really about babies, I think grace should be applied liberally to new moms. Today’s standards for moms are extremely high. You’re not doing it right unless your whole family eats gourmet and organic, you make it to the gym everyday in designer workout apparel, and your immaculate home looks like something off of Pinterest.

Get real.

It’s confession time.

Sometimes I count down the minutes until daddy gets home to help.

Sometimes I make coffee in the middle of the day because I’m so tired.

Sometimes I nurse the baby to sleep even though the pediatrician says “put him down awake but sleepy.”

I really don’t give a hoot what the “experts” and “critics” say as long as what we’re doing works.

The documentary Babies is an eye-opening view of parenting around the world. It’s a refreshing reminder that even though babies from Namibia, Mongolia, Tokyo, and the US live drastically different lives, they can all grow into thriving, happy children.

Whether they grow up in a hut with a dirt floor or a bustling metropolis.

Whether they hang out with dogs and goats or attend baby yoga class.

Whether their parents read all the books or simply follow their instincts.

So let’s ditch the rule books. Ditch the comparisons. Let your kid get dirty. Stop worrying. Stop it with the imaginary standards. Go your own speed. Live your own life. Pray for guidance. Pray for wisdom. Do the best you can.

This blog post is over because the baby’s crying…. that’s about as real as it gets!

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