It is amazing how we see things as a third person and develop strong opinions. I am of course, no different. I had lots of opinions about other’s parenting and made mental notes about how I would do things differently.
It was an unimaginable act to drive around so baby would nap. How could people let their baby sleep all by themselves in a crib?! What do you mean you let your child cry it out? Who medicates their child so he/she can sleep through the night when teething? It’s ridiculous to follow a child around to feed meals. You give your kid packaged baby food?
You get the picture. Let’s be honest, it’s very easy to judge when you’ve never had to “deal” with a baby or a toddler for more than a day in your life. Unless you are an enlightened soul, we’ve all been there.
Fast forward to having my own son, A. Mental notes that I mentioned above, came to me as flashback movie scenes as I was in them. It was all about survival and keeping a human alive!
I drove A around for 45 minutes so he would take a 20 minute nap. We moved A out of our room and into his crib at 6 months and sleep trained him. That, by the way, got me immense criticism from my family and I felt they were being too judgmental. O, the irony! A had Motrin before bed time during the worst teething phase. I got tired of the power struggle during breakfast, lunch and dinner so ended up keeping A engaged in play while I fed him nutritious meals. The days I was too exhausted, A had baby food pouches.
Instead of beating myself up for doing all the things I mentally said no to, I just find humor in the fact that life has a beautiful way of coming full circle. Now I just try very hard not to judge a parent, unless they are letting their child cry their lungs out wanting to get out of the car seat and still make an extra stop for coffee. I may have done that too.