When you feel like your parents are still in charge…

You know that song from the musical Wicked? It goes: “something has changed within me, something is not the same. I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game”.

This is what it feels like becoming a parent. Suddenly, there’s all these things you have to do and if you don’t do it the way your parents had done it in the past, then you’re doing it wrong or weird!

How many times have I sternly told my parents that no, I will not be forward facing my baby until he’s hit the required height and weight limit for to his seat? Even if he’s 3 years old.

Or I’m feeding him solid foods as we eat them, so if it’s a little spicy and he reacts it’s because it’s a natural response.

And the best one: I will be breastfeeding until he fully weans himself.

Constantly butting heads with my parents was one thing I never thought I’d have to do as a first time mom. I thought I would be getting unconditional support. I didn’t realize that I have to raise my child differently under their roof than mine. It’s been a constant struggle to remind them that I know my child best, but I hate the judgement that I receive from them when things get a bit outlandish for them.

It gets worse when he’s sick. Or if he feels warm. He always feels warm to them. And they usually feel him after he’s been hardcore playing, sleeping, or been held for the past 15 minutes. I feel like I’m constantly being on edge to defend myself as a mom.

Am I doing it right? Am I a bad mom for not knowing he’s “too warm”?

First off, if you’re dealing with this, know that whatever decisions you’re making as your child’s parent is your decision. Even if you make a mistake, own up to it. Don’t let your parents take over.

There’s a thing called survivors bias. The “we raised you this way and you survived” mentality can be very dangerous. Your child will not be like you. They may look like you and maybe sound like you but their inside make up is only part of you. Yes, you survived having honey before 1 years old, but your baby’s immune system might not be able to fight botulism as well as yours did.

Yes, you slept on your stomach on day one, but studies have found new data since you were born that says otherwise.

And as much as you try to tell your parents, sometimes they won’t listen. Why? Because they are your parents. They still think of you as a young child who is still learning and under their control.

(Here’s where that song comes in.)

Now you’re making the rules. You’re a parent. Listen to yourself. Yes, take advice and use it as you will, but first and foremost, anything that has to do with raising YOUR baby should be a decision that is made between you and your partner. Not your mom, dad, aunt, great uncle, etc.

YOU.

Now go on, defy gravity. Be that mom you want to be.

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Emi Sano

Emi Sano

Emi Sano is a self-published author of “Voices: a short story collection” and YA novella “We Don’t Talk About That.” She freelances as a writer/blogger.