If you could banish one word from the dictionary, what would it be?
There are so many good choices! But you only get one.
No…My kids would like that…but NOPE.
Moist…That one REALLY bugs some of my nursing friends…NOPE.
Hunger…Eradicating the fact that so many people are hungry would make the world a better place…but NOPE.
Those are all bothersome words, but they aren’t the one that I find the most terrible, undermining, formidable, disgusting, and downright evil.
Bear with me here…I am going to make you wait a few more seconds before I tell you my choice.
Be honest…how many parenting, sleep training, or discipline books have you read on your road to parenthood? We all do it. By the time my oldest was two weeks old I had read no less than EIGHT books on caring for your newborn. EIGHT! Crazy, right?
Every time I sat down to nurse my baby I picked up a book. Let’s do the math – he ate nearly every 2 hours for about 30 minutes. That’s 12×30 minutes = 6 HOURS a day! Six hours of reading! Six hours pouring over books claiming to sleep train my baby in three easy steps, guarantee that my breastfed baby is getting enough, prevent that dreaded colic, raise a happy baby, etc. What did all of these books have in common?
None of them helped me feel empowered as a new mommy.
Every one of the books that I read made me feel less and less adequate. Not exactly what I needed (or ANYONE for that matter) when learning how to care for a new baby…especially with the crazy monsoon of emotions and hormones swirling around my postpartum body.
I was convinced I was ruining my baby!
My son would scream for HOURS – didn’t matter what time of day. Getting him to sleep was a NIGHTMARE. He would nurse all day long if I let him. Why was he doing this? What was wrong with him? What was wrong with me?
If I call my pediatrician again he is going to think I am a lunatic.
Long before I became a nurse I was a big sister, oldest cousin, serial babysitter/nanny. I have been caring for babies since I can remember. I pride myself on being able fix babies as a nurse in the hospital… if that’s the case why can’t I fix my own? I must really suck as a mom. Why was my baby SO different than every other baby I knew.
At one point, having been home alone with a screaming infant for nearly a month I was losing my mind. Rocking him as he continued to scream I called my mom, sobbing that I was a horrible mommy, how can I not even get my baby to stop crying. I don’t remember her exact words of encouragement. What I do remember is that she said to me, “Isn’t he so lucky to have you. Someone who is so dedicated to finding a way to help him.”
What? That didn’t make any sense to me. Everything I read was telling that everything I was doing was wrong. How could he be so lucky? She must be crazy!
Being happy and successful as a new parent
Okay. It took me quite some time to figure this one out. Probably a lot longer than it will take you. But once I saw all of this for what it was, my life as a mommy (and a professional, a wife, a business owner, etc.) became so much happier.
In this world we are surrounded by people/images/books/shows telling us how we SHOULD parent. How your baby SHOULD be acting. How we SHOULD be relating to our partner. How we SHOULD be eating in order to get back to our pre-baby weight.
SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD
Says who? Compared to what? … AHHHHH. That’s it! Compared to what? Compared to whom? Who is the expert telling us what we SHOULD be doing or thinking? Why do we give that evil person so much power?
Did you ever notice how awful you feel when you start comparing yourself to others? This can be applied to countless areas of our life – body image, clothing styles, house size, car flashiness. When I think about it I tense so badly that I just want to scream. UUUGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!
If I could remove any word from the dictionary it would be SHOULD.
As parents we lack the praise and support necessary to feel confident in our new role. Why is that? Instead of seeking it out forms that would build us up and help us feel like whole, successful parents, we try to learn from watching others around us. Doing so naturally forces us to compare ourselves to that outside source. The moment we start to compare ourselves to our perceptions of others we start SHOULD-ing.
In parenting as in life we need to embrace the uniqueness – the uniqueness in ourselves, in our children, in our situations. Please give yourself permission to do this. Any time SHOULD comes out of your mouth or crosses your mind, immediately question it. Why do I feel that way? Compared to what? Compared to whom?
Because you are perfect.
You are the perfect parent for your child. Your child is the perfect baby for you. Your partner is the perfect complement to you and vice versa. Once you accept that and see yourself for the brilliant soul you truly are you will be so much happier in every aspect of your life…ESPECIALLY as a parent.
Comment below. Share with us what word you would ban from the dictionary and why!
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