It seems that every time a woman gets pregnant all the women in her life offer advice on how to parent. While this can be helpful, it can also be overwhelming and hurtful to a new mother learning how to care for her child.
By solely listening to other peoples’ ideas on how to parent, new mothers are not allowing themselves the chance to explore their very own parenting techniques. While you may know a phenomenal woman and mother in your life that you would like to emulate, you must remember that you and your child are not the same as her and her child.
Trying to live up to other people’s definitions of a good mother or trying to live up to be the ‘perfect’ mother is damaging to you creating a bond with your child early on.
The truth is everyone that has had a child is lost the first time, even the women that wait until they are mentally ‘ready’. We, mothers, were and will forever be learning how to parent our children.
The double edge sword of being a teen or young mother is you receive so much advice and often times backhanded advice that you might eventually tune everyone out, even yourself.
The truth is older parents in our life do have more experience but they do NOT have all the answers. While their advice comes from all sorts of experience we must allow ourselves the chance to experience things on our own for the ‘lesson’ to stick better.
My parenting technique is primarily to learn along the way. It sounds crazy but it’s what works for my daughter and myself.
I’ve gotten advice from the elders of my family and it is up to me as a mother and parent to decide if their suggestions work for my daughter and myself. I also try as hard as I can to listen to my daughter. My parents weren’t ones for ‘listening to their kids.’ This made me feel as if my voice didn’t count therefore when I got older I didn’t feel the need to communicate with them because they never listened before, why would they now?
I can say without a doubt that my relationship and by extension my parenting technique comes from the summer I spent with my daughter between sophomore and junior year of high school. I got to know my daughter and my daughter got to know me.
This early on interaction with limited interference with others showed me that I am capable of parenting, others advise can be helpful and that your child will tell you the type of parent they need.