Before you were born I had all these preconceived ideas about parenting and how it should be done. I unashamedly judged parents left, right and centre for their parenting choices if they didn’t align with my views.
Then you were born and everything I thought I knew went out the window.
How could I leave this tiny, beautiful creature to cry alone in a room when I could make your world OK just by holding you and breathing in the scent of your soft baby skin?
How could I stop breastfeeding before you were ready when it was, and still is, your favourite source of food and comfort?
How could I force you to sit quietly and calmly when your raucous singing and giggling fills my heart to bursting with pride for how vibrant and clever you are?
How could I possibly keep your face clean at all times when wiping it means catching you first, but after the first 200 times it stopped seeming worth the battle?
You might have babies of your own one day. I won’t tell you how to raise them, but I will counsel you to keep an open mind about parenting before you have them, and to listen to your instincts when they arrive. It’s OK to change your mind.
As family units we are all unique, and you can’t judge a parent until you’ve spent a lifetime in their shoes.