This week’s Friday Find is more a chance for me to have a bit of a whinge than anything else (sorry). It’s not about a great product or cool gadget that I have found. This week rather, I need to voice my frustration about something that I have not found….
New Mums and Dads everywhere will tell of their need for advice and guidance for all things parenting. Whether it be sleep, breast feeding, sickness or safety, new parents everywhere seek advice to help them make the best choices when it comes to their bubbas. Along the way, you are faced with a vast variety of different theories, suggestions and practices. No one seems to agree. I get it…all babies are different, and therefore cannot follow one set of guidelines. To be honest, I’m not someone who ever really searched for a regime or routine to help me through each minute of the day. In my hospital and in my Mothers Group, we were almost ‘scared’ away from these ideals, and names such as Tizzie Hall were flouted as ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unnatural’. It’s not in my nature to stick to a strict schedule, but then there are also people who need such schedules to keep themselves sane. I myself, have tended to look for advice, ideas and suggestions and then take from them what made sense to me. Robyn Parker’s ‘Baby Love’ was recommended to me from the beginning, and this book gave me confidence that I was doing the right thing.
I actually saw Tizzie Hall on the Today show here in Australia the other morning. She was asked why parents find putting baby to sleep so hard. She said that it isn’t hard, it’s actually easy. It’s just that we are making the wrong decisions. I was flabbergasted when I heard her speak this way. I get that there are a few simple rules that help babies sleep, but labelling the process as ‘easy’ in my view over simplifies the process. For those of us who are new to the game of being Mums and Dads, its not easy. It’s hard. Really hard. Dan and I have been really lucky to have a good sleeper in Ella, but we know people who pull their hair out in trying to get their baby to sleep. No matter whether or not you rock, pat or control cry, the endless information makes the whole process so overwhelming. Just sifting though the information itself is hard.
Don’t get me wrong. For many Mums and Dads, her views work. If they work and give you confidence then fantastic. Its just that after being a Mum for eight months, I’ve come to think that there is so much information out there for new parents, it is no wonder we all feel like we are going batty from time to time. My friends and I have often commented on the lack of continuity and agreement in all things ‘parenting’. Whether it be about how much sleep a baby should get, when to start solids or what foods a baby should eat and when, parents are getting bombarded with so much information that is often contradictory and confusing. I was talking with a friend a few months back about the fact that when you search the net, there WILL be a website somewhere that tells you what you want to read. Not eating at 6 months? Don’t worry. On the other hand, most research now says you should have your child eating solids from around four months. When you do find your baby is ready to eat, the mismatch of information about what foods to eat and when is unbelievable! Furthermore, many new Mums talk about their experiences in hospital in trying to learn to breast feed. With each new shift, a new nurse approaches you with a new theory on how to do it. Most give their advice with a caring outlook, but there are also some who tell you that what you are doing is wrong and you should change your whole approach. This would be fine if the next nurse agreed!
I guess the thing is, you don’t know who to believe and when. We all are just trying to survive and be good parents. I guess I should just stop whinging and get used to the idea of conflicting advice. Heaven knows that this is only the beginning! Thank god for friends and Mothers Groups. The best advice seems to come from those who have been through it, the good and the bad. Then again they have all had different experiences, challenges and successes!
I can’t wait for Ella to be able to tell me what she wants herself. Then again, it will probably be the complete opposite of what she should be doing. I guess when it comes down to it, the advice to ‘stick with your gut’ really makes sense. I just wish that I always knew what my gut was telling me, so I could do it!
Apologies for my whinging. It’s over now.
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