Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Unapologetic parenting

Earlier this week, a friend and I were agreeing how difficult it is to go out with our squealing babies at the moment. They don't scream, but squeal so loudly you eat quickly trying to get out as soon as you can. This article a friend posted on her blog has made me rethink my approach. 

I admit to being a different parent in public for fear of others' judgement. But, this article made me realise I am betraying Sticky by doing that. She relies on me to be consistent, no matter where we are or what we do. So I'm making a new commitment to her to do just that.

I read this article after being out at a cafe with her this morning. She started crying which she doesn't normally do. I think she was both tiered and hungry and she could tell my attention was not firmly on her. Even giving her her bottle, I wasn't paying full attention to her because I was talking so someone else. This may explain why she didn't drink it.

After we had been there for 2 hours, and she couldn't get to sleep, she started squealing. Instead of trying to push her through, I listened to her and packed up. She was saying enough Mum, I need to go. I did try to get her to stop squealing but clearly she was wanting my attention. As the parent, I had to listen to her, acknowledge her needs and respond to them.

I've been embarrassed by her squealing but why should I be? It is simply her talking. I don't ever want to be the kind of parent that tells my child to shut up. Or, to teach her that children are seen and not heard. I need to teach her about voice modulation and control and I am doing that. But, I need to take her to public places so she can learn that.

So to all my fellow diners and coffee sippers, you may come across my squealing baby as you sit there trying to eat your dinner or sip your coffee. You may give me the evil eye and judge me as a bad and annoying parent because my child is disrupting your peace. I understand you because I've been here myself. But on the parent side of the fence, I have to say you'll get over it. And, I'm not going to say sorry for raising my child the way I want to.

You may tell your friends all about me and describe me as a horrible parent but I can honestly say I don't care. Chances are I am never going to see you again in my life so I'll put my energy into worrying about what my little squealing baby thinks of me instead. Because it's really her opinion that matters most!

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