Behold the Parenting Experts with their hot-off-the-press parenting manuals. Don’t you just love all their conflicting advice?
- Never let your baby sleep in your bed, although sleeping in your bed is the most comforting way to fall asleep.
- Breast is best, but only if you don’t want to know how much they’re eating. And don’t forget to top up with formula so your boobs dry up.
- Baby slings are great for bonding, except your baby will be a limpet for life and never learn to walk.
- Baby lead weaning helps fussy eaters, except it’ll make them choke, so pulverise the hell out of stuff.
Check out this particularly passive aggressive guide to Controlled Crying:
Don’t tell me: a crying baby will be spoilt by the mother who picks her up. The mother is being manipulated. What wisdom does this expert have that trumps evolution and biology? What makes her know better than the baby’s own flesh and blood?
What really scares me is the thought of how vulnerable parents who are struggling to work out what’s best for them will feel when faced with this ‘expert’ advice.
‘You will have to be strong-minded not to scoop him into your arms and comfort him.’
The implication is that a mother who goes to her crying baby is weak-minded. That her instincts are wrong and must be ignored. Hardly empowering stuff.
Imagine how this must feel for mothers who suffering from Post Natal Depression. Standing outside their baby’s bedroom door feeling torn while the baby cries herself sick is fuel for anxiety and guilt. And then there’s the mum who is struggling to bond with her baby: the one who isn’t feeling the love and wants nothing less than to scoop up him up and have him scream in her face. Statements like this could fuel her paranoia that what she’s feeling isn’t normal.
We all know that in reality there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to care. Riddle me this; a woman caring for two generations might be advised to let her newborn cry till she makes herself sick, yet at the same time be reported to the authorities for not responding to the cries of an elderly person she’s responsible for. She might go to bed at night snuggling up with a loved one, yet be told not to allow her children to do the same.
Of course they want to confuse us and stop listening to our instincts! Cos they want us to listen to them instead. How else would they sell books or get TV shows commissioned?
You know what? ENOUGH! Bin the books! Hell, burn them in a symbolic display of mum-power.
Only parents know what’s right for their families – and its no one’s business but their own.
Parenting Experts. Who are ya? The clue is in the name…