There’s a lot of conflicting parenting advice out there. There are methods for parenting for pretty much every type of person, and everyone has an opinion on what’s right and what works. I thought I would make it easier for all of you and compile a short list of how to cut to the chase and be flawless at this parenting game.
Step One: Have a Child
Have your baby naturally, straight from the woman flower, embracing every moment like a warm cup of tea. Have your baby under the influence of more drugs than the entirety of Mötley Crüe in their prime. Have your baby in a birthing suite or an operating room. At home or at a birthing center. On a bed or in a kiddie pool. Have a labor that rivals a Hollywood marriage in its speediness or one that takes longer than shipping without Amazon Prime. Adopt a baby! Become a foster parent. However your bundle arrives, congratulations. You’re a perfect Mom already!
Step Two: Feed Your Baby
Give that baby the boob. Or the bottle. Or a combination of both. When she starts on solids (whenever that is), feed her all organic, or be gluten free. Feed her the cheapest veggies at the chain supermarket you shop at or whatever is fresh from the Farmer’s Market. Feed her what you’re eating. Give her a french fry or a well-cooked carrot. Make your own baby food or buy it in a store. Give her ice cream as a treat or make your own frozen yogurt. We’re going for “fed” here. The possibilities are endless, and if you’re feeding your kid … you’re an amazing Mom!
Step Three: Keep Your Baby Safe
Provide some sort of shelter from the elements. Make sure he has some type of clothing on. Did that onesie cost more than my rent? Doesn’t matter. Are those boots from the sale section at Walmart? They’re awesome! Have a lot of rules or don’t have any. Hover over your child like a tigress or pretend he’s a chubby free-range chicken running in the fields. Don’t let him play with knives or burn the house down. Look at you go! You’re rocking this!
Step Four: Let Your Baby Sleep (If You’re Lucky)
Put that baby in a crib, bassinet, swing, sling, or hold her in your arms and let her catch some Z’s. Snuggle up next to her in bed or sit up in your rocking chair all night. Run to baby at every whimper or let her fuss it out a bit. This isn’t a competition to a) see whose baby gets up more times in the night or b) have the first baby to sleep through the night. The goal is sleep for you and baby, and however that happens (frequently or infrequently), you’re doing phenomenal.
Step Five: Parent Your Baby
Stay at home with him. Go back to work. Work from home. It doesn’t matter what you do; you are his Mom. He won’t forget you if you’re working; he’ll be amazed at how you rock it all. If you stay home, he’ll see you rock it all. He’ll think you’re amazing. There’s no right way to parent. Out of choice or necessity, you do what’s best for your family, and it will be perfect.
Step Six: Love Your Baby
It doesn’t matter if you bond right away or if your love grows as your baby does. There is no timeline on bonding with your child. Magical fairy dust will not fly out of your womb along with Mother/Baby friendship bracelets. It will happen when it happens. Give lots of hugs and kisses or show your affection with words. You love that chubby lump of human in your own way, and he or she will love you. You’re crazy good at this Mom thing!
That’s it! The parenting gig can be hard, but it’s worth it. If you slip up and have a Mean Mom moment or forget to feed her lunch for half an hour, it’s OK. Think of it as a teachable moment. Life isn’t perfect, kids, but Mom is!
(OK, most of the time.)
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