I was once chatting with a mum who decided to continue breastfeeding her toddler. She was constantly being criticized and questioned by her well-meaning family as to her choice. She shared that she felt the need to constantly justify her decision with a thorough explanation. I disagreed.
This wasn’t a question of right or wrong – it was purely a question of choice.
Somewhere along the lines, we have lost confidence in our own ability to make decisions for our families. We are immersed in a culture that spouts a variety of methods, ideas, advertising and marketing that are devoid of values and yet become the primary influence in how we raise our children.
We are no longer encouraged to simply follow our instincts or make choices we feel are in line with our beliefs or value systems. Instead, we are made to feel inferior when we don’t make ‘mainstream’ choices that flow with popular culture.
If we chose to mother by listening to our instincts then I think we would find that motherhood is much less complicated than we are made to believe. The challenges of parenting will never change but they can be simplified.
With my first child I read a book that told me if I used this method that my baby would sleep through the night from six weeks old. I ended up with a fussy, colicky baby who fed every 2 hours around the clock. It felt natural and normal to feed him when he cried but I fought those instincts and followed the book. This made us both miserable!
Motherhood has become much more complex and stressful than in previous generations. We are constantly being told what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Often this advice is generated from magazines or online blogs that are designed to link to a product and do not have our families best interests at heart.
It’s time to step back and trust in our own ability to make decisions for our families despite what other people may say. This is the key to becoming a confident mum – learning to have confidence in our choices away from the influence of popular culture regardless of what others think.
After all, they are our kids and it’s our choice.