The (parenting) S Word

There’s a word I think ought to be removed from the parenthood lexicon.  Who wants to guess what it is?

Yup, should.

When I think back on the first year of motherhood, especially, the least helpful and most stressful bits were the direct result of someone saying Silas should or shouldn’t be doing this or that.  It comes up with behavior, sleep, developmental milestones, diet, and even diapering.  The mommy wars are totally a thing, but the onslaught of motherly and grandmotherly advice (not necessarily from your mother or grandmother but more from any other female you come across at the grocery store, park, whathaveyou) is just as much a culprit of misery.

I spent a lot of the first year of Si’s life worried about whether I was doing the “right” thing as his mom and the only thing I really learned (and know to this day) is that right for my kid isn’t the same as right for yours.  Right for Silas isn’t the same as right for Maren.  He “should” be sleeping through the night, eating smaller pieces of food, using soap during baths, not using soap during baths, sitting, crawling, walking, eating every __ hours, saying “please” and “thank you”…

Should is for the birds.

The second time around I am trusting the baby above the well-meaning commentary.  I’m still a freak about nap time and the priority of sleep, but otherwise I let her do her thing and follow her lead.  It’s really liberating and enjoyable.

You’re doing a good job, mommies and daddies.  Believe me.

We’re hitting the road tomorrow (after a quick visit with my parents) to head to Illinois!  It’s the traditional Labor Day cookout with the Ballards followed by a cookout with the other side of Tim’s family on Sunday.  Lovely to see everyone in one fell swoop.

In other news, we’ve been digging into some house projects in the form of sanding, patching and painting walls (finally) so those details will be up next week with a new house tour.   It’s been a really long time since we did one!

Happy weekend, y’all.

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