Wednesday 11 January 2012

Just My Opinion!

The one thing I have learnt in my 3 years as a parent is that there is no easy way or one solution to a problem. Its like the saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”! Now why you all try to get the gruesome image out of your head, there is also a learning quote I rather like:

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.  ~Attributed to Harry S Truman

and another one

I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.  ~Dudley Field Malone

I remember in the early days after Callum had arrived, asking if anyone had a manual. Of course, no one came to my rescue with one amazing manual but what people did do is give me advice and share with me what worked for them. Likewise, it is natural that if I find something that works particularly well for me and Callum then I will sing its praises to all who will listen, some may say this is preaching. But I will always remember what worked for me may not work for someone else so if they choose not to accept my advice or try my ‘solution’ then that’s their choice and I’ll never get upset about it. I would never tell people how to bring up their children (if I have ever come across this way, then I apologise as it wouldn’t have been intentional), nor will I strop if someone doesn’t agree with me! But most of all, I would not call anyone a failure for trying a different parenting approach whether it is something I agree with or not. Being a parent is bloody hard work and providing they are safe and loved then whoever you are you’re doing a bloody good job whichever parenting methods you prefer!

Similarly, many friends took the Gina Ford route. Good for them, I remember feeling envious over their babies sleeping through the night from as early as 4 weeks. But, I also knew that the Gina Ford approach wouldn’t work for me, my baby and my lifestyle. No one got upset or defriended me because I chose not to do the same. There were many friends that did try this approach and it didn’t work for them. Why? Because every baby is unique! This is probably the best thing you could every learn and accept about your children and when you do, you’ll notice your life getting a lot easier. What works wonders for one baby will not work for another. That’s life – accept it!

Even identical twins are unique.

Hopefully, when our children grow up they will then become unique free thinking individuals who will continue to share what they have learnt with others but be open to learn from others too!

So what has lead to this ranty post?

I ‘chat’ (yes, I don’t use it as it was truly intended as a micro blogger I prefer to use it as a messaging tool and to tell everyone what I had for dinner…sorry!) on Twitter to many other mums, and some dads too, and I am also a member of a parenting forum. I have found these social networks an invaluable support. I accept that I don’t know everything and the wonder of these tools is that they help me to open my mind to new ideas and to hear the different opinions of others. Some I may agree with, others I wont. But that’s what makes us great, that free thinking and individuality. Life would be very boring if we all thought and behaved the same.

If you aren’t willing to accept the opinions of others then why would you be on Twitter?

There was an instance this week on Twitter that I didn’t witness first hand as I didn’t ‘follow’ them but many people I do follow other Tweeters that were outraged by the comments that were made. Having not been directly involved, my comments are only based on what I do see so I have a caveat that comments may have been taken out of context, there are two sides to every story blah blah blah. But as I understood it, I wont go into detail here but it was affectively calling other parents failures for not agreeing with their own parenting methods. I sincerely hope this wasn’t actually the case but this post is bourne as a result of that being the case. Well congratulations to that other person for unlocking the secret to parenting and I look forward to that manual coming out into the shops very soon! If you, as a mother, are lucky to have a wonderful birth with little or no intervention and a ‘text book’ labour that didn’t involve inductions or c-sections because everything was medically perfect for you then wonderful. Yes, I am impressed and yes, how amazing you are. But I am no less amazing because I think that if something hurts and there is a way to stop that pain, then I want that pain relief. In my opinion, that just makes me sensible! If I have a headache, I take a tablet because why would I suffer the pain just to show everyone how tough I am. I never wanted to be induced – it wasn’t part of my birth plan – but for the safety of my baby, when my waters broke 4 weeks early and my blood pressure was high, I wasn’t going to take any risks – induction it was for me. But even still, if it was part of my birth plan – what does it matter to anyone else? I still have a wonderfully, healthy little boy! Go me!

If you don’t open your mind to new things and other people’s opinions and beliefs then you will never learn anything new but that doesn’t mean you have to accept their opinions as they may not accept yours and that doesn’t make the other person wrong! It doesn’t make you wrong! No one is a failure for having an opinion. It just makes you different! I think that is what makes us ALL amazing!


  1. Totally agree, Debbie! When I see a child whinging in the supermarket or whatever and a mum (or dad) losing patience or acting a way that I wouldn't, I always try to remind myself that I have no idea what's going on in that family's life, no idea if this is typical behaviour or a once off thing and no idea of what generally works for that child and parent. It's so easy to think you have the key to parenting just 'cause you have been lucky enough to find what works for your child but nothing works for every single child, parent or family.

  2. And you are totally amazing. Well thought and well written and very truthful.

    If only there was a manual.


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