Parenting is hard. I don't think that anyone would dispute that. I think there are a lot of reasons why parenting is so difficult.
There are a lot of real, scary and stressful challenge that come during our parenting journeys. There is also a lot of manufactured stress for parents. This manufactured stress is created by experts who stand up on their pedestals and sell parents a set of rules that their babies “should” be following. They sell parents a set of rules that they are supposed to follow, and when those rules don't work they tell parents they are just not doing it right or that they need to hire them for $500 (or more).
A few weeks ago I went to deliver a Zipadee Zip. The mom who answered the door looked exhausted. In a matter of seconds she told me about a sleep consultant that had her feeling like a total failure. This sleep consultant had given a presentation at her moms group earlier that day. She spouted a list of rules that left this mom feeling beat up. I could feel the weight on her shoulders just by looking at her. We chatted for a bit and I think I was able to lift some of that weight off her shoulders. I left feeling angry and sad, like I usually do after I hear about this kinds of presentations.
I have a secret for you. Rules and babies do not mix. Babies are unpredictable individuals.They don't know what our rules are. Often these rules are going in direct opposition to their needs. These rules are all made up. They are made up by people trying to sell you something, and what they are selling you doesn't work.
These systems see babies as secondary to cultural expectations and norms. They refuse to see variation as normal. They break parents down and then charge huge sums of money to give parents unrealistic rules and programs that rarely do what they say they will do.
It’s frustrating to me to see parents taken advantage of over and over again. Why can’t we be honest with ourselves and accept that there are no rules?
I choose to focus on tools instead of rules. Tools can help you adapt and meet the ever changing needs of your babies as well as yourself. Tools empower parents by giving them real strategies that embrace the unpredictable and messy nature of babies. Tools don't look to change babies or teach them something they are incapable of learning.
Let’s fill our tool chests with strategies, products and cheerleaders that help us be the parents we want to be.
Selling stress to parents has got to stop. Next time someone gives you a rule that makes you feel stressed, stop and ask yourself - “Is this a sales pitch or a real tool that will help me be the parent I want to be?”
You can do this. I’ve got your back.