Accidental Parenting… Does that term upset anyone else? I am so tired of reading articles, books, blogs, whatever from experts that refer to my parenting style as accidental, nothing I do is accidental when it comes to my child.
If you asked me what I would call my style of parenting, I would say natural, instinctive, or intuitive. Please tell me what makes it accidental! Is it because I don’t check what the experts say before aiding my child? Who are these experts anyway, and who made them king? I like to think back to a time before experts, sometimes as far back as caveman days. Mothers wore their children, they carried them everywhere, it was warm and secure. Oh no! A lion is coming!
Grab the baby! Wait, they were already carrying their babies. They could hold tight and run for it!
Sure, we live in a different world these days. We can virtually avoid our climate with heating and a/c. We’re not being chased by lions, or anything really. We live in a pretty advanced culture… A culture that pushes a detached parenting style while judging moms that choose an attached relationship to their children… Really? You sleep with your baby? tsk tsk tsk! What? You’re still nursing your 18 month old? tsk tsk tsk! Put him in a cage by himself in the other room, let him cry it out, give him a pacifier when you can’t take anymore crying. The experts say the child needs to learn to self-soothe… you’re such a bad mom for holding him back, he’ll never learn!
Now, I’m not an expert… but my parenting is not accidental. I have always followed my gut with parenting, and I have one happy kid! Sure he goes through phases where he is absolutely crazy and inconsolable… but I think that happens across the board! My kid is well-fed, sleeps well, and plays well. He sings, he dances, he builds, he says please and thank you, and he gives the best hugs and kisses. We read books, we play games, and we snuggle… a LOT. He likes to talk on the phone, he likes making new friends, and he LOVES to flirt! — So who are these experts to tell me I’m raising my child accidentally?
I do ask myself, before doing something, what will this teach my child? For instance, my baby is crying I should: A) Console him - this teaches him that I’ll answer if he should call. B) Feed him - this teaches him that I’ll feed him if he’s hungry. C) Comfort him - this teaches him that I will ease his pain if he’s hurting. D) Soothe him - this teaches him that I will chase his fears and dry his tears if something is wrong. I mean for Heaven’s sake! He can’t really speak or reason yet. That’s what I’m here for! That’s my natural job as his mother! The biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard is that answering your baby when he cries is only going to teach him that crying is going to make you come and give him what he wants. Well DUH! That’s the only way he knows to communicate with me! I want him to know that he can call for me if he EVER needs ANYTHING! Why is that so bad? It’s as if the experts are trying to convince new parents that they don’t have to change their lifestyle when they have children, that they have to detach themselves and teach their children to fend for themselves at such early ages instead of parenting!
I love being a mom! I love every little up and down! Every time I learn something new about the mother-child bond I just think WOW. I think about the slightest ways that our physiology synchronizes, his and mine, to create a totally unique and custom bond. I can feel when he’s hungry apart from when he’s just tired. My body temperature will raise if he’s cold. When he’s sick or sore, my breathing, my heartbeat soothe him, I can hold him and sway or snuggle and he’s fine. This is what our bodies do naturally. No pacifiers, no special comfort items, he is most secure in my arms. That’s just a wonderful thing!
Calling what I do “accidental parenting” is like saying that Universe just landed this way accidentally, which I know some people choose to believe… but knowing that God created the universe and all its intricacies, makes it so easy to believe that God made us this way, he gave us all we needed to parent, in our own minds, in our own hearts, and in our own guts. Women are perfectly built for mothering… I just choose to embrace it, and that’s no accident.