Having a meeting in Ipswich provided me with a long drive to think about all sorts. Making a mental to do list for the hubbie, day dreaming about my forthcoming girlie spa weekend & having a little debate with myself about parenting. Yes out loud, much better than in your head and everyone just thinks you're on hands free so none the wiser that I'm actually a little bit of a wierdo (shhhh)
So my Jekyll & Hyde style deliberation was essentially "Are the parenting choices we make because they are the best for our children or do we choose to believe the hype/information that supports our choices to justify they are the best?" (You may need to read that twice, I did)
Since becoming a parent and generally getting older I've got to know myself. What makes me tick and what ticks me off. Although I love the idea of being spontaneous I know I need structure. I'm very organised, possibly a little geeky in all aspects of my life. I have an excel document detailing household monies in and out, every Saturday I plan the coming week tea's. Browsing shops I will have a list of what I need to curtail any frivolous spending. Which incidentally my friend once ate, I was devastated. At work I have a to do list, which I update hourly. I once forgot my diary and lasted an hour and half before admitting defeat and heading back home as I couldn't cope without it. You get the picture, I need a plan and love a list which I think is my way to (hopefully) stay ahead of the game.
My personality didn't change when I had children. The need for structure undoubtedly formed my parenting choices. I wholeheartedly believe that routine for babies and young children is a good thing. Which is a bloody good job really as I would have definitely had a mental breakdown attempting a more relaxed parenting style. Our bedtime routine for example has a fantastic dual purpose. Bath, milk and Igglepiggle calms and prepares my youngest for sleepy time. Brilliantly it also excites and prepares me for winey/childfree time, win win. I am more relaxed with my eldest but still suffer palpitations if the youngest's schedule isn't adhered to, so routine it is all the way for us.
When you become a parent you are bombarded with information and opinions regarding what's best for you and your child(ren). With so many different types of parenting it can be a minefield as to what you should and shouldn't be doing. Some mothers repulse at the mention of Gina Ford, others roll their eyes at attachment parenting. Some swear by controlled crying whilst others prefer the Baby Whisperer. All very different but all have research, articles, parent's views and experiences supporting and dismissing each way of thinking. So what's a girl to do?
My conclusion; One woman's co sleeping dream maybe another's worst nightmare. One woman's set routine would be a babyled disaster. Do what works and fits with you and your family to ensure you're all content. Believe in your choices and respect others' as they'll all be individual and different, just as we are.