You Aren’t a Bad Parent If…

There are so many different parenting philosophies out there. And, for the most part, if you don’t do what they say, you are a bad parent. Same thing applies to mid-wives tales–bad parent! Common sense–bad parent! Not the average baby–bad parents. Not being to understand your baby or trust your instincts–bad parent.

Well, I’ve only been a parent for 3.5 months, but I am here to say, you are not a bad parent. You are only a bad parent if you abuse your child or completely ignore or abandon your child. In these three and half months, I’ve done several things with Rhys that some might say was bad parenting, but it worked for me, and more importantly, works for him. Thus, I am not a bad parent.

So, I’ve compiled a list to alleviate you mothers (and me) of any guilt we may have of being a “bad parent.”

— You let your baby have a pacy past 3 months, or give it to him before they are 1 month old!
— You don’t take out dairy in your diet to be safe (for a while, I thought Rhys had a milk allergy since he is the spit up monster. So, I didn’t have dairy for a week, but no difference in the volume of spit-up)
— You read all the baby sleep books possible and look at baby forums every time you worry about something.
–You let your baby rock in the swing without buckling him (but are in the same room).
–You don’t always turn around in the car when you hit a red light to put his pacy back in since he’s screaming.
— You turn around in the car when you hit a red light and desperately try to grab his pacy that’s fallen out of his mouth, then keep your arm twisted backwards to rub his cheek or hold his hand until he falls asleep.
— You aren’t co-sleeping with him, but when he is ill or having a terrible time with a growth spurt, then yes, you do..
— You do pull him into bed with you when he cries between 5-6 AM since you are getting up at 7 AM and don’t want to give up your own precious sleep time rocking him.
— You take naps with him on your bed.
— You let him take almost all his daytime naps in your bed covered by your sheets because he sleeps more soundly in your bed.
— You lay blankets on him during the day rather than always swaddling him.
— You take him on early morning runs at the time of his morning nap, hoping he’d fall asleep, but he cries for most of the run.
— You continue your run, even though he’s crying. (You try comforting him by retrieving his pacy, and talking soothingly to him.)
— You already use his middle name in a lovingly stern voice to try and teach him that yes, he can be patient, and no, he doesn’t need to fuss anymore. You also remind him that he is a big boy and you love him and will take care of him.
— Half of his feedings are formula because ever since his cold at 2.5 months, he’s not really liked exerting the energy and patience to nurse, and your milk supply has decreased, even though you are doing numerous things to increase it.
— You sit him in his Bumbo chair on the kitchen table or counter while you cook, clean or eat, even though the directions specifically say not to place it on the counter.
— During his first month, you enforced tummy time for at least 3 sessions of 5 minutes per day, even though he didn’t like it. Turns out, this was a good thing. He now loves tummy time. At 7.5 weeks, he was consistently rolling over on his back, and now at 3.5 months, he is inch-worming across the carpet.
— You are grateful that his grandma wanted to take him for a whole day and you were excited to get housework and schoolwork done without having to care for him.
— You work, even if it is part-time.
— You have been going back and forth and back and forth for about a month on whether or not you should quit and be a SAHM starting next semester. You thought you had your answer, but now, you aren’t so sure.
— He hasn’t started solids yet (only 3.5 months), but you are letting him lick your popsicle because he loves the new flavor and you find it exceedingly adorable.
— You make sure to give him 6oz of formula for his last feeding (10:30PM) to help him sleep through the night.
— You do the CIO. We haven’t gotten to a full-fledged cry it out. Just the 5 minute pause. And it’s been very successful at night.
— You don’t feed him in the middle of the night anymore since he slept through the night a few times. Besides, a few baby books I’ve read say that babies who wake at night aren’t always hungry. They just finished a REM cycle and don’t know how to bridge to the next one. They don’t know that they can fall back to sleep themselves and believe they need to let us know they are ready to go back to sleep. If Rhys cries for 5 minutes, we go in and give him his pacy. Most of the time, he immediately falls back to sleep. If not, we’ll pick him up. If he is still fussy, then that does mean that he is hungry and I will feed him.
— You blog while he plays contently on the floor–you don’t have to entertain him 24/7. Even at this young age, it’s ok to let him begin to develop independent play.
— You let your baby feel a sense of frustration before you go to him. I believe that is one of the issues with today’s children–their parents didn’t ever allow them to feel frustrated or unsure, nor allowed to experience failure or the word “no.”
— You put your baby on a schedule, albeit flexible.
— You pick up the pacy off the floor and give it back to him.
— You swaddle him, put a lovey in his crib, give him his pacy, and turn a floor fan on high to help him sleep at night.
— You let him cry a bit while you finish showering and getting ready for work.
— You let him watch a little bit of Baby Einstein on Youtube while you get ready for work so he won’t cry.
— You let his grandma’s puppies lick his face because they are so excited for a new playmate.
What are some things that work for you, but some people might consider bad parenting?
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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Everyone has to go with what works best for their family. There are bonafide bad parents out there, that's for sure, downright evil parents among them–but there's a difference between being evil and simply not following the most popular child-rearing notion of the moment. Times change so quickly. I never saw my siblings or baby cousins swaddled, it must have not been "in style" during that season of medical advice, while these days most of the babies I know are swaddled regularly. It's interesting to see how things change…

  • Kimberly

    I ignore my children, but not like what you're referring too. I have sewing to do and so I make them go play alone (but together. . . ) in their bedrooms. And as long as they're not hurting each other, I try and give them space to work out their own issues. I don't want to have to jump in to break up sibling problems every five minutes, or to encourage tattling. A healthy dose of ignoring also goes a long way in children developing their imagination.

  • Sounds to me like you are the PERFECT parent! He's adorable too! He sure is lucky to have someone who loves him and will try anything for him. I have 3 children that survived childhood and I will tell you that each one of them needs things done in a different way. You're going to be just fine.

  • He loves being swaddled at night, just not during the day. But I need to have some sort of enclosed weight on him so his Moro reflex (twitches of the limbs) don't wake him up from his naps. So I put blankets on him, even though different books and websites claim that it is a proponent of SIDS because it is a suffocation hazard. But, I check on my baby boy often, and oftentimes, just do my grading/lesson planning/blogging on my bed right next to him. He's not going to suffocate on my watch.

  • And see, I wouldn't even call that ignoring. You just aren't entertaining your children or moderating their playtime. You are allowing them to play with themselves.

  • Thank you! And he is absolutely the most adorable boy there is! He is definitely spoiled!

  • Desiree @ Macke Monologues

    I've been a big fan of 'if it works for you and your child, then you're doing it right'. Since having Marcus I've learned that everyone seems to have an opinion, and whether or not I listen to it, and/or heed the advice is totally up to me. Parenting is hard enough without having to listen to all the do's and don'ts.
    You're doing an awesome job!!

  • That's exactly what I've begun to believe.

  • I love those crib sheets, they match our nursery colors! Where did you get them?

  • I got them at Babies R Us!

  • I love this post! As a parent I often feel guilty of most of these. But you are absolutely right, it doesn't make me a bad parent at all! It's just what works for us right now:)