Mother Knows Best?

Let’s face it, when it comes to parenting, everyone has an opinion. And if you’re a parent, you’re going to get a lot of advice—wrong and right. Your challenge is to figure out what works best for you and your family.

If someone has something to share, my husband and I have always tried to listen. We’ve had a few “moments,” but we’ve also learned some pretty amazing things from friends, family, and even perfect strangers along the way. Together, we’ve taken everything we learned and tried to find the path that’s right for us.

But what happens when the one you disagree with is your spouse?  I’m sure we’ve all had, “Are you serious?” moments, but what if it’s more than that? What if it goes against something you feel strongly about? Do you compromise? Do you stand strong? Do you meet in the middle?

Natural parenting has been a wonderful option for many of us, but it also presents circumstances that not everyone understands or agrees with. In turn, some play devil’s advocate and, seeing how strong a mother feels about her choices, may share their opinions with her spouse instead.

A mom in The Other Baby Book community recently shared her own experience with this. As a mom of two and someone who believes wholeheartedly in co-sleeping, she wishes her husband supported it more than he does. Instead, he wonders if advice from friends and family to let their children “cry it out” and “learn to sleep” is warranted. Coming to a happy medium has not been easy when they share such polar opposite views. Furthermore, the lack of information for “natural” dads hasn’t made it easy.

Recently, another dad of two shared his thoughts on breastfeeding past infancy and where a dad’s opinion fits in. I certainly don’t agree with everything he said, but the article illustrates how sometimes it’s easy to focus on the mother/child relationship and overlook a father’s role in natural parenting.  I can see how a dad could feel left out and question things.

And so I wonder, where is the happy medium? With instances like these and all the ones in between, how do we find something that’s best for our entire family? Does mom really know best? Or does the best solution come when both parents have an equal say?

For my husband and me, our best decisions were made when we listened to each other. We tried to approach each experience with an open mind, discussed options, and chose what felt best for our family. Most of the time natural choices worked, although sometimes it took a mix of mainstream and natural philosophies. No matter what, it required both of us to share our thoughts and find our comfort zones.

Now that we’re parents of two, there isn’t a lot of time for communication, but the time we have is important. Like most couples, we’ve had our moments, but we believe if parents can truly listen to one another without judgment, a solution is attainable.

In the end, our children depend on us to come up with a healthy, happy solution. Getting there is never easy, but the results are worth it.

Everyone’s experience is unique. As a natural parent, how do you decide what’s best for your family? Should moms make most decisions or are dads’ opinions just as important? What do you suggest for parents who are at an impasse?

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Did you know The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year is now for sale? Are you interested in learning more about gentle, mom and baby-friendly practices that foster a joyful, connected relationship? Want to introduce a pregnant friend to natural parenting? Check out our website or head over to Amazon to grab your copy today! *******************************************************************************************************************************

Kristen is mom to Will (5) and Joy (2).  She’s happy to be a natural mom and especially glad to have a husband who kept an open mind. She’s a better mom because of him.

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