I think that anyone who is a parent can come up with 1,001 things that make the role of “Parent” hard: the sleepless nights, the tough questions, the fact that the. floor. is. always. sticky.
But the hardest thing, I think, is when it comes to raising children that will be a benefit to society. Who will be productive, empathetic, successful adults. How do you know when and if you’re doing it right?
Any parent who’s ever been on the internet since even contemplating having a child can attest to the fact that there are more opinions out there on raising kids than there are actual kids. Should you spank? Time out? Breastfeed? Bottle feed? Let the baby cry them self to sleep every night? Never let the kid out of your arms until they’re 30 and want to get married?
Everyone on the internet has an opinion. They’ve all read “this one awesome” book, that has “proof” that if you let your kid cry once before they’re 60 then they’ll be a neurotic mess the rest of their life, or that if you hold your kid once they come out of the womb, you’ll have spoiled little brat that everyone hates. And everyone knows “that one kid/parent who…”
So we all do the best we can. We talk about “listening to our instincts” and “doing what’s best for our family”. But since none of us have a magic crystal ball to see into the future, how do we know who’s right? Are we all right? Is what I do, as a mostly attachment parent, going to raise an adult who’s as well adjusted as your mainstream parenting ways? How about vice versa? What if we’re both wrong?
I talk to my husband a lot about what we’re doing as parents. If we’re doing the right thing. Sometimes we decide we have things we need to work on in the parenting department. Sometimes, we give ourselves a pat on the back, and roll with it. (Which one happens usually depends on what kind of day our kids are having, and whether or not we’ve gotten enough sleep that night.) I often wonder if what we’re doing is the right thing. Cuz the responsibility to raise that mature, responsible, well adjusted adult is, well, kinda humongous.
But since I don’t have that crystal ball, I’ll just have to “listen to my instincts” and “do what’s best for our family” and pray to God that how we’re going about this is the “right” way.