Everyone has an opinion about weddings and babies. Fortunately, the time leading up to and the actual wedding itself are short in comparison to the minimum eighteen years of child rearing. As a new mom, I often turn to my trusted veterans for advice and guidance when I’m at my wits end. The sisterhood of mothering is a beautiful thing. The not so beautiful piece of it all? You guessed it – the unsolicited advice and comments from the peanut gallery.
Oh, you think my child needs her diaper changed because she’s peed in it twice? Guess what? She’s going to rock that bad boy for a few more tinkles unless you’re the diaper fairy and deliver free diapers to my house on the regs. Think my firm bedtime is a little too harsh for an infant? Please feel free to come get up with her at 5:30am and ride the waves of crankiness the next day when she’s refusing to nap.
I could go on for days with the ‘you should do this’ and ‘when my kids were young we never had to..’ and my personal favorite ‘but you know I have more experience’. Let me tell it to you straight up. You’re experience does not and will never equal my experience.
I want to and need to make my own mothering mistakes.
How else am I going to learn if no one lets me? Yeah, I had to learn the hard way that I didn’t need to buy that silly multipurpose seat that we have never used. But you know what? Now I know. Now I have experience. I know that our money is better spent elsewhere like on diapers or multiple crib sheets because accidents happen and you’re up a creek in the middle of the night when you’re one crib sheet is in the washing machine.
Admittedly, I’m not perfect. Am I learning? Every single second of every day. It’s a process. But the process has to be mine. I will never be you and I’m never going to strive to be you. I learned a long time ago that being me is the best way to get through this crazy thing called life. While I embrace who I am and the mistakes I make along my journey, I’m going to teach my daughter the same thing.
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce