5 Parenting Myths for New Moms to Totally Ignore!

Family walks!

As the mom of a 22 year old, I wanted to just say “Heeeyyy!”  to all you new moms out there and throw you some love and encouragement!

You don’t need to be perfect! You just need to be good-enough and you and your family will be ok.

I became a mom when I was 37 years old. My world had consisted of working on Wall Street in the IT field for years before my son was born. I would get calls in the middle of the night and be on-site at the database department all the night and into the next day, working to get the systems up. It was definitely an adrenaline junkie kind of place. I was confident in my work.

So, at 37, inexperienced with children, I was.

But taking care of a baby was another skill I just had no practice with! I had never changed a diaper. Unlike other girls, when I was younger, I wasn’t much of a babysitter. I was a nerd. I read widely and went birdwatching…activities not too enticing to younger kids!

Things won’t be perfect or without pain, but it will be ok.

 

  1. Strengthen our mothers!

    The uppy-pick thing: People told me that if I picked him up when he cried, there would be some lasting damage, like, he would be clingy forever and “NEVER” “have a life of his own.” A baby have a life of his own? What the hell were they talking about? Maybe he could drive and get a stranger to hold him at Stop and Shop? Well, that’s a load of crap. Currently, he’s in school 5 hours away, studying a tough curriculum that requires days of hard work every week.

  2. The breastfeeding thing: People told me that I was spoiling him, that I needed to say no to frequent breastfeeding, and that I should schedule breastfeeding. Well, of course we all know that’s not how it works. Research indicates that human breast milk varies in content and bulk according to infant needs, and you need to follow your baby’s lead to maintain enough milk.
  3. The food thing: People told me that if he didn’t eat a wide range of foods as a young child then he would NEVER eat a wide range of foods. Well, another load of crapola. We’ve traveled over the world and he eats all sorts of stuff, including a wide range of ethnic foods and loves and sushi as well. So, whatever.
  4. The co-sleeping thing: People told me if we practiced co-sleeping he’d NEVER sleep alone. Well, one night he just went to sleep in his own room and that was the end of that, no crying, no big deal. Another parenting myth busted.
  5. The not-tough-enough parenting thing: Despite copious research based evidence that spanking increases aggression, anti-social behaviors and depression and that there is not one credible university in the United States that includes spanking as part of a parenting curriculum, people who practice this type of discipline love to talk about how tough they are with their children. And indirectly, (or directly) how wimpy you are if you don’t do what they do. As a new mom, I felt overwhelmed when people brought this subject up. Eventually, I found I couldn’t be friends with this sort of people as we just didn’t have anything in common, really.

So, moms, I encourage you to follow your heart, do some research and care for your children in loving ways. The people who tell you to do this, to do that, …well, they won’t be in your life in the important ways that your children are now and will be for the rest of your life.

Photo Credit: Kathy Morelli, LPC

Relax and love yourself and your family.

 

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2 Responses to “5 Parenting Myths for New Moms to Totally Ignore!”

  • Amen, sister! I’m a new first-time mother at 35 of a beautiful 5-month-old and I would say the biggest challenge has been to just be comfortable in my own skin about mothering. At first, I would get into a good groove but as soon as I was around other people, most of whom loooooooved to tell me what I needed to be doing, I would lose sight of it. Follow your heart + do some research = absolutely.
    Sarah recently posted..My Symptoms of Preeclampsia After BirthMy Profile

    • Hi Sarah! Thank you for your reply! I’m happy to hear my experience resonated with you! I feel you and remember that insecurity well. Amazing how people without kids seem to have all sorts of opinions as well! All I can say, there is a broad range of normal parenting behaviors and you sound like a concerned and well read parent! Follow your heart, do some research and BE KIND!! Treat your child as you would like to be treated!! Love to you! Kathy

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