Ever feel like you're failing at this whole parenting thing? I do. Every.single.day. it seems.
Each moment I encounter with my daughter opens up a wide array of questions about shoulda, coulda's, woulda's and all according to all the sources out there.
What to Expect tells me I should not worry. It's just a phase. It also says she should only know about 40 words right now. It also says she shouldn't be saying sentences for another 6 months or so. Yeah, I get it. The numbers they give are just an average, but the advice they give seems so vague and not specific enough to the current situation.
Some resources say it's proper to be stern about some things - if it's potentially harmful to her or someone else.
Then other's suggest that some child are sensitve to harsh tones or words and it may damage them forever, dooming them to a life of weekly visits to a pshycologist.
Some say to never say "no" unless it's harmful, and then just redirect.
Some say follow your instincts.
Now that sounds like a wonderful plan. Yet, I fear my instincts have been smothered by the cultural bully of knowing what the most hip parenting style is.
Where is the truth? I want to think it was easier for moms in the past, when technology didn't bombard them with everyone else opinion and "expertise" on what the proper way to raise a child is. Then at times I wonder what on earth would I do if I didn't have the internet at my fingertips in a moments notice. Like when I need to know how high is too high for a fever to get, or additional methods to sooth a baby that's teething when everything I could already think of has been tried and exhausted.
I know what these moms did. They called their mothers, their sisters, their aunts, their neighbors. They reached out to those they felt were more experienced for the advice, comfort and guidance they seeked.
When you look at the whole situation differently, then, things really haven't changed. As mom's, we still turn to the "experts" (internet, books) in our lives and we create communities of other women (blogs, forumns, ect.) to help lift us up, support us, guide us, and give us advice. So, even if technology changes and neighborhoods aren't as tight nit, and families are more spread out across the world, we still find ways to meet our needs.
Which leads me to realizing my insecurities and my frustrations must be echos of past mother's. I can't blame it on the times or technology. It's part of the motherhood "condition" (I'm in love with "quotes" today, apparently) to be in a constant state of wonder.