Her photo and message remind parents to trust their instincts and ignore bad advice
Australian mom Peta Tuck recently shared an image that shows the “real” side of parenting.
After seeing an article about co-sleeping that was filled with misinformation, Tuck – a doula and blogger from Bisbane, Queensland who’s a mom to three children between the ages of two and five – shared a photo on Instagram of her own family co-sleeping together, along with an important message.
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Sharing again because, well, it needs to be heard more often! I saw a post tonight published by our main stream media. A post, yet again dividing us as Mothers & Parents. A post which I find hard to stomach. It went a little something like this. "Research has shown that having a baby sleep with you will decrease their ability to self soothe. Increase tantrums & childhood obesity" Umm, yep. Please shut up. I find this extremely hard to believe, what research? Show me it? Show me the evidence? Show me the sample size & all the other variables to go with it. It is in our DNA to be with our children. They cry for a reason, to communicate their needs. They don't need to learn to self settle at 6 weeks, 6 months or 16 months. When did having a baby sleep through the night become the defining thing for successful parenting? I was one of those young impressionable first time Mothers who thought I knew it all. Who thought a baby sleeping through the night meant I was a great Mum, forgetting the tears we both shed to get there. I think the 'self settling' experience lasted only a few short months for us, I just couldn't continue. My baby girl was waking for a reason, she was communicating to me. So I FINALLY listened to my instincts & not everyone around me telling me what I should be doing. I started bringing her into bed with us, it was the best decision ever. I do though feel those few months of soul crushing self soothing caused many issues with the bonding between my daughter and I. It shatters me thinking about it. The thing is, not only do I STRONGLY disagree with their click bait title and their reporting of infant sleeping….Mothers don't want to hear this. They don't want to be judged for their decisions. They don't want to be told that the choice they have made for their family is 'wrong' or not 'mainstream'! The want to feel supported no matter their parenting style. Self soothe, co sleep, formula fed or breast fed…I don't care whatever your choice is, do it because you are informed, it fits your family's needs and most importantly you are supported in those choices! Remember, you are perfectly imperfect.
“I saw a post tonight published by our main stream media,” she wrote. “A post, yet again, dividing us as Mothers & Parents…It went a little something like this. ‘Research has shown that having a baby sleep with you will decrease their ability to self soothe. Increase tantrums & childhood obesity.”
Her response to that article? “Please shut up.”
In her post, she criticized the spreading of misinformation about co-sleeping without research or evidence, as well as the general competitiveness of modern parenting. “They cry for a reason, to communicate their needs. They don’t need to learn to self settle at 6 weeks, 6 months or 16 months,” she wrote. “When did having a baby sleep through the night become the defining thing for successful parenting?”
Tuck explained that as a young and impressionable new mom, she too thought that sleeping through the night was a measure of success as a mom. After putting the kibosh on her tear-filled attempts to get her baby to self-soothe, she learned to listen to her instincts and ignore everything else. “I FINALLY listened to my instincts & not everyone around me telling me what I should be doing,” she wrote. “I started bringing her into bed with us, it was the best decision ever.”
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This is normal for our family. This is how our nights usually look, all our little minions filling the jigsaw puzzle of our bed. This was actually taken a few weeks back after I had a blissful dinner with an awesome friend. I walked in the door, actually I broke in & jumped through the window because my husband didn't dare move to wake the kids. 😂😂. Nonetheless my heart filled with so much love when I saw this. See, we do this parenting thing our way. Not what the books tell us or the media or anyone else. We do what feels best for us & our kids! Do we wish they would happily put themselves to bed with no fuss, yep, most nights at some point we do. Do we wish our bed could be just ours again, yep, sometimes. But, we own our chaotic crazy family ways and rock it like no other…even when my husband curses because he can't move under all the children laying on him whilst Mumma is out ❤️😂 Own your parenting choices because they are yours, no one else's!
Tuck’s biggest issue? The harsh messages, clickbait articles, and misinformation given to parents.
“Mothers don’t want to hear this,” she wrote. “They don’t want to be judged for their decisions. They don’t want to be told that the choice they have made for their family is ‘wrong’ or not ‘mainstream’! The want to feel supported no matter their parenting style.” Amen to that.
“Self soothe, co sleep, formula fed or breast fed…I don’t care whatever your choice is, do it because you are informed, it fits your family’s needs and most importantly you are supported in those choices.”
She told Scary Mommy the hardest thing about parenting, for her, has been finding balance.
“Being a rocking Mum, but still loving and giving enough to yourself, is a hard juggle,” she said. “For a few years, I lost myself in the haze of motherhood.” But with support, she said she eventually gained a newfound confidence in herself – which is why she’s so committed to inspiring confidence in other parents.
“If you are feeling lost or overwhelmed – no matter the stage of your journey — then please reach out, find support, don’t live in isolation and be filled with unrealistic expectations,” she suggested. “Parenting was never meant to be done in isolation.”
Her advice for new moms: Trust your instincts and be gentle on yourself and your baby. Don’t watch the clock, and know that you are the best mother for your children. “Your journey is unique to you and you need to own it,” she said. “Messy house, full beds, tantrums and tears, it’s all a part of this crazy ride we call parenthood.
“Remember, you are perfectly imperfect.”