anxiety · depression · My Story

The parenting style that no one told me about

Parenting style

I was told – read this bookhave you heard of this technique…. you should try this… but no one told me about the parenting style called:

Your Style.

It’s not surprising that I was in a complete blur after giving birth and desperately seeking answers to combat the overwhelming feeling of change. I took every bit of advice I could get. As I was in hospital for 4 days, the shifts of the midwives meant that I met over 15 of them. Every single one had their own opinion or style which they’d pass on to me. However, the idea that I could actually trust my own instincts and follow my own style was never mentioned and the stress I was under meant it never crossed my mind! I found it particularly difficult to comprehend that professional medical staff were giving me their own thoughts and not necessarily facts.

No one mentioned that I could actually trust my own ideas. I could try things that I thought might work for my baby and me. Any issue or question I had on parenting would be quickly followed by an in-depth search of the internet, a parenting mag or book to find the answer. I never looked inside myself and thought… What would I do if I had no one to ask? What would my instincts tell me to try?

There is so much to be influenced by in this age of the internet. There’s also so much pressure from others to do it their way or their idea of what’s best. Be kind to yourself and remember most of the advice your see or hear is opinions…

You don’t have to feed your baby rice cereal as their first food. You don’t have to breastfeed if it’s not working for you or your baby. You don’t have to keep them in your bedroom for 6 months. You don’t have to swaddle them.

You can do what feels right for you.

Something that crossed my mind recently, with my son’s first birthday just a few weeks away, is the pressure to create something amazing for him. I see the internet flooded with elaborate cakes, incredible decorations, piles of presents. Then I remembered that is their way of celebrating and I’m probably not seeing the whole picture on social media. For all I know, the reality might be that other people’s culture celebrate birthdays with cakes rather than presents. I’m slowly realising I can do something that feels right for me and my family, if I try to compete with everyone I’ll exhaust myself and ultimately feel like a failure.

As a first time mum, I wish I was given the confidence to trust myself, it might have avoided a lot of unnecessary suffering. I’m slowly getting more confidence in my parenting ability and realising that I’m doing a good job and if I make mistakes I’ll learn from them.

Be kind to yourself


2 thoughts on “The parenting style that no one told me about

  1. You are so right – such a great point to make! There is a lot of pressure, especially in this day and age. Social media is so unbelievable “judgy” when it comes to parenting and it seems like a competition in a lot of ways. We are all just doing the best we can and we have to do what feels right for us. Every kid is different and every parent is different and you have to find the style that works best for your household and family.

    PS. I threw a big first birthday party for my first child and that was it. I stood there the whole time thinking how dumb it was because all she wanted to do was stick cake up her nose. She had no idea what was going on. The rest of my kids got a present, a cupcake and a hug. That was it. lol


  2. Great post and great idea! It’s so easy to get caught up in what others think. I read so many books when I had my first baby that I felt totally overwhelmed and rubbish when I thought I was doing things ‘wrong’. I was definitely more chilled out with baby number two! You do need to find your own way of doing things and I’m sure you’re doing a great job 🙂

    The thing about social media is that it’s a snapshot of the lives people want you to see, usually the pics and tales of how wonderful life is. In reality it’s probably about 5% of their life, the rest is so mundane they don’t give it a second thought (or want to tell people about it). I avoid social media when I’m feeling a bit down as seeing how much ‘fun’ others are having just makes me feel worse.

    For my eldest’s first birthday we just had a few close family members come over and had some cake and opened presents. At that age they don’t know what’s going on. I find the pressure comes when they start school and other parents start throwing lavish bashes – it’s hard not to cave into peer pressure!


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