First time mum/referee/ sleeve snot wiper to a wild toddler. Designated household bum changer. Blogging about this motherhood malarkey from a refreshingly honest and unfiltered perspective.

Keep your advice

DISCLAIMER: This is not a blog post, but a spillage of caged rage.

I was bombarded with endless, unsolicited advice when I had my first baby. Apparently there was a particular way to do everything, I was preached with a verbal manual on 'how not to condemn your baby - a guide for beginners.'

  • Don't pick your baby up when they cry because I mean who wants an attentive and loving parent? Ima right?
  • Don't let them sleep past 4pm or they will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN... until 7pm.
  • Don't cuddle them or shows signs of human connection or they won't know how to be independent and will die in the real world.
  • Don't give your kid milk after the age of one because who wants a kid whose bones aren't brittle and crumbling?
  • Make sure to put them down to sleep when they are awake yet drowsy or they won't know how to settle themselves EVER.
  • Don't co-sleep because then they will never ever, EVER want to sleep in a bed of their own, oh and you'll kill them.

This drove me insane. I have had to bite my tongue on so many occasions to prevent myself from going just absolutely ape shit for example;

Unsought Observation: "You shouldn't attend to your baby when they cry, they need to learn to self soothe. Just let him cry it out. He's not in any danger."

ME: You know, you are RIGHT? What was I thinking? Attending to my son when he uses his only way of communicating to tell me he is hungry, or his nappy is full or that he's scared because he has woken in the middle of the night, disoriented to find Mummy is not there. He's not in any kind of danger except being trained that his basic needs will go unanswered and possibly some potential emotional scarring from blatant neglect.

It's almost as if, being a baby, he cannot self soothe! It's almost as if being his mother, it's my job to care for him and his needs out of sheer responsibility as his goddamn parent.

If my child is crying, it's for a reason. Whether it's a wet nappy or the simple fact that he just wants his mummy for reassurance or a cuddle then damn right I'll scoop him up and make sure he's okay. I won't leave him alone for him to wail into an exhausted slumber. Last time I checked, being too loving didn't kill children.

If my son wants to nap at 4pm resulting in him going to bed a little off his usual scheduled 7pm routine then what exactly is the issue? That small window of time for myself gets pushed back an hour? He is slightly harder to settle? I think somehow, I will cope.

His tiny body uses sleep in order to heal and grow and recharge... He won't die from an unscheduled late nap. He won't fail in school because I let him snooze an extra hour when he obviously needed it.

If I co sleep then that is my decision. I don't need to hear objections or tuts or how he'll never sleep in his own bed for as long we live... Calm down everyone. I have never heard of a grown ass man still cuddling in beside dear old mum - a spine shuddering thought.

This is what works for us at the present time. Hell, the majority of Europe have been co sleeping with their babies for years and consider it instinctive, normal. Britain is one of the last countries who still deem it outrageous.

I'm fully and extensively educated on potential risks, hence why I avoided it altogether when Arthur was a newborn, when I knew I was too exhausted, when I was scared I would be in too deep a sleep to notice if I rolled over on him, but I am fully confident that we do so now as carefully, and safely as possible. He will outgrow the crawling into my bed for cuddles so I think I'll savour it before there's no more to wake up too.

I regret getting so hung up on all these belittling opinions and objections to my way of parenting. I regret that I added so much stress and pressure on myself trying to follow this bollocks advice from people who aren't there to comment on the situation at hand. I follow my instincts now, pure and simple because I am his mother and until he is old enough to decide for himself, only know what is best for him.

Raise your child how you see fit and if anyone attempts to question your methods or way of doing things, take a deep breath, offer a polite smile and tell them to fuck right off.

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