My Mom Style Explained
Ahhh, mom life. Whether you’re a parent now, or planning to be, I’m sure you have some ideas of how you want to parent. Our parenting styles are being shaped our entire lives, from when we were children being raised ourselves, to watching younger cousins or children being raised, to seeing how our friends parent. Every interaction shapes our style, whether it’s something that inspires us and something we decide we want to implement into our lives, or something we know we definitely do not want to do.
I love having a little babe around in my life and I want nothing for the best for her, now and forever. The love a parent has for their child is one unlike any other. As much as people know this, they will, inevitably, critique what you’re doing. Why people do this, I genuinely don’t know but I thought I wouldn’t explain my reasoning for why I do what I do.
1. Exploration satisfies curiosity and boosts creativity, knowledge, and understanding.
You ready for the number one thing that I let my babe do that people say I shouldn’t? I let her play and explore with whatever she wants. It’s true. I’ll watch her crawl over to my phone cord, pick it up, hold it, look at it; and you know what I do? I watch her! The only thing I won’t let her do, is eat it!
I have had people when they’re over tell me in the most panicked way “oh! She’s going for the cord!” and they’ll pick her up and move her away and you know what I say? “oh that’s ok!”
I believe to my CORE that it is so important for babes to explore their environment. Their minds are developing rapidly and the more exposure you can give them, the better! Of course I would never leave her unsupervised to explore something like a cord! If I know I can’t give her my 100% attention, I put her in safe environments like her play room where everything is baby proofed, or her pack and play, or even her bedroom!
Another example, Penelope loves straws! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told she shouldn’t have them. But why? I’ve been told she could scrape her mouth, or stick it too far in.. the list goes on. My thoughts on the matter? If she does either of those things, so what? It won’t kill her. She’ll learn from it. She could do the same thing with spoons! It’s amazing watching her fine motor skills improve just by picking up a straw, moving it from one hand to another, examining it. I’m all for it! I’m right there watching! If she gags on it, I’m there to soothe her and let her keep exploring. I guess I’m just a big believer in you live, you learn!
I’ve let her crawl into cupboards and pull everything out, I’ve watched her pull everything off of bookshelves, I’ve watched her pull herself up and you know what? I don’t rush over to be there in case anything happens. I. Just. Watch. If she bumps her head or tumbles down, you can bet I’ll be right there picking her up and telling her it’s ok, but I don’t intervene until I have to!
I don’t like living life in the “what if’s.” If I lived my life that way, I would never do anything and more importantly, my daughter would never be exposed to anything! Something can always happen, at any age, but I believe in letting them get a little dirty, and exploring all their little hearts desire.
I remember reading once that you shouldn’t distract a baby when they’re focused on an activity and, unless they’re in danger, and I whole-heartedly agree!
2. Sometimes saying “no” creates an attention-seeking action.
This one goes off my previous point and explains a little bit more into why I don’t rush over to intervene. Have you ever told a child no just for them to think it’s funny, or a game? Maybe it’s because I have a background as a Speech Therapist, but this is SO common. I can’t tell you how many children think it’s funny when a parent picks them up and moves them away from an item, or when a parent quickly says “no!” I’ve seen it so many times (including with our own daughter,) where they’ll smile and try to get back to where they shouldn’t as fast as they can, laughing the whole way. I’ve noticed when I just stay back and only intervene when absolutely necessary, my daughter explores, and then moves onto the next thing!
3. Encouraging Independence
I believe in encouraging my baby to be as independent as possible. This is hard for me, because as much as I want her to need me forever, I believe a strong woman is an independent woman, and the earlier women learn to be independent, the more self-confident and self assured they’ll be when they’re older.
Many people think that babies should have your attention ALL THE TIME. And by your attention, I mean you, on the floor, engaging the baby constantly. Don’t get me wrong, you engaging and playing with your child is vitally important to their development, but so is fostering independence.
For example, me leaving my child to play alone (as in, without me) while I accomplish something like putting dinner away, or doing the dishes is NOT lack of attention or distracted parenting. Instead, it’s giving my child the opportunity to engage in independent play. I’ve read an AMAZING article on this, and you can find it here. Independent play builds their self confidence, their ability to self-regulate, and builds their imagination, just to name a few benefits!
Here’s the deal
Parenting is NOT a one-size-fits all deal and it’s time society stops acting like it is. What works for me and my family, might not work for you and yours, and that’s ok.
What you read above, about what my child does as home, doesn’t have to be something that you agree with! Parenting is just a series of choices that are for you and your spouse to make. Other opinions don’t matter. Old school styles, new school styles- doesn’t matter. All that matters is your family unit and what works for you! Trust your mom-stincts! (or dad-stincts!)
Remember if you’re not worried, no one else should be either. Momma knows best.
You can keep up with my personal life here!
Want to see my latest mom post? Read it here!