First Rule of Parenting: Never Say Never
While you are pregnant, every new parent starts to think about how they will parent, and make a lot of statements about how they will never let their future children do certain things. We are all guilty of it. But it’s about time all future parents learn: never say never in terms of parenting.
Plan A is great and all, but…
We all know the shortened quote from Robert Burns, “the best laid plans of Mice and Men often go awry”. And that cannot be more true with being a parent. We are great at coming up with a plan for exactly how things will go, and if you are anything like me, it is color coded and in the calendar. But the fact is birth, pregnancy, and being a parenthood is taking a giant step into uncharted territory.
For our birth doula clients, we love to hear plan A. In fact, we spend a ton of time talking about how the ideal birth plan will look, how our role as doulas will look, and everything in between. But we also spend almost as much time talk about all the other possibilities. We try to encourage our clients to never say never when it comes to their birth plan, because birth, like parenting, is unknown.
For our postpartum doula clients, we also try to encourage parents to never say never. We want you to make the decision that is best for you, your family, and your baby, and that best decision can change day by day, even hour by hour. So there is absolutely no reason to say something will never happen (within reason, of course).
There Is No Need To Set A Rule That You May Have To Break
While it might not seem like a big deal prior to your baby being born, but breaking self imposed rules can feel pretty bad. Whether you are doing it because you have learned a better way to handle your life as a new parent, or because your original idea just does not work with your baby, breaking self imposed rules hurts. It hurts your confidence as a parent. It hurts your feelings that you weren’t as good as you thought you should have been. It hurts to hear other people say “oh, I thought you said you would never do that”. And the last thing anyone needs as a new parent is to feel hurt.
Other Options May Lead You to the Outcome That You Want
Part of our goal as doulas is to help you learn your options. So if there something you feel strongly that you will never do, we explore other options that help you never have to do that particular thing. Learning your options gives you the ability to have more overall control over what may be happening around you.
Instead, say “I am parenting how I need to today”
Parenting in a marathon. It is hard, scary, challenging, and incredibly amazing. But, being the best parent ever means being the best parent you can be. If your meal choice isn’t completely organic, or the TV is on longer than you might like, that is fine. You are being the best parent for your baby!