I don't know who needs to hear this but YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A PERFECT PARENT. You just need to do your best. You just have to show up and TRY.
We are often told that we need to do things the "right way".
What does that even mean?
If you are not abusive and neglectful you are probably doing something right.
Breast OR formula?
Whatever is the best choice for the health of baby AND mama.
Organic purees OR baby led weaning?
Let's ask mom what she can realistically prepare for within her current time and schedule constraints.
Feed on demand OR put a little bit of structure in their day?
Depends on how you "thrive" and what meets the emotional and physical needs of ALL the family members.
To swaddle OR not to swaddle?
Do some research, talk to your friends, and see what *your* baby responds well to.
Crib in their room OR bassinette by your bedside?
If mom and baby are getting the sleep they need to function well and baby's emotional needs are being met, then go with that option.
Rooming in OR safe bedsharing? (Don't come after me, we are just giving you options that you might be wondering about.)
Again, if baby is safe and everyone is getting the sleep they need, then that's the best option for you.
More money spent on an expensive stroller and car seat OR money spent on a Postpartum Doula?
You know your needs better than anyone, and what you will the most benefit from!
Baby wrap or baby carrier?
Go to local baby wearing meetups and see which options support healthy baby growth and actually FEEL GOOD for your body type and needs.
Go back to work or stay home for a while?
Each family has unique financial needs and sometimes, we decide based on that. And sometimes we experience one for a little while and decide that it's not for us!
Couple sits on a black couch, holding a newborn between them. The husband is leaning over slightly to kiss the wife while she softly smiles at him.
We all make choices.
We all want to be good parents.
Do your research but don't obsess over every small detail.
It's ok to make an educated decision and then later realize you want to do something different with the next baby. It's ok to make decisions based off your needs today, and then make new decisions based off your needs in that season of life.
It's ok to make new decisions when learn more, when you GROW more.
Life is made up of small choices, little acts of service to each other.
Sometimes we are in a receiving state of life (new mom, new dad, new baby) and other times we are in a giving/providing state (friends, aunties, grandparents, people from church or work).
Ultimately, you have to do what works for your family dynamic, your lifestyle, and your finances.
Protect your mental health, get some daily sun and love on those babies.
You cannot snuggle them, kiss them, or hold them too much.
Trust your parenting instincts.
Don't forget to enjoy the roller coaster ride...it's a wild one!