Saturday, February 20, 2010

Parenting: what really matters

Going a bit off topic here, but not very far.

As I participate in the birthing community, I see a lot of discussion and topics about stuff. Items that women need or want, or items that infants need or want. Cribs, outfits, nursing tops, chairs, bras, toys and bottles, among other things. I'm sure, with an infant or toddler in the house, these are very important things. But are these the things that really matter?

Probably the second most talked about subject is life-style choices. Is one going to breastfeed or formula feed? Is one going to do co-sleeping, or does junior have a crib? Is one going to baby-wear or own a stroller? These too are surely important things to discuss, especially among partners. It's always helpful to gain knowledge by discussing with friends as well. But again, I ask, are these the things that really matter?

I can tell you that I don't know if I was breastfeed or not. I don't know if my cord was clamped right after birth or if my parents waited. I don't know if my mother did cloth diapers or disposables; I don't know if she co-slept or baby-wore or participated in CIO.

I do know that she was there for me as a young child, and that she loves me.

At the end of the day, your baby doesn't care about the little details. The important thing is that YOU are there for him/her. You, as the parent, need to spend quality time with your child(ren). As much fun as it is to sit and read blogs all day while your young one plays quietly nearby... is that how you want his/her young life to start? Is that how you want to be remembered?

Of course we cannot spend all day and all night playing and cuddling with babies. Some parents choose work, some parents get stressed out, and EVERYONE needs sleep! Nevertheless, some quality time spent with your child(ren) should be worked into everyday. Some days you might have more time than others. But it's that participation and connection that matters!


  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. My parents worked while I was young, my dad worked during the day and my mom in the evening so there was always someone home with me. I agree that the important thing is how you treat your child(ren).... everything else is just trivial details... If you have a will to make life good for them, it tends to work out, imho.

  2. I think I will agree to Chiara. Everything in your article are all so true. All those things really happened in our lives. For me, parenting really matters.