Not all parts of parenting are subjective. If your child breaks her arm, she needs medical care. That’s clear, or should be. If you want to practice something like baby led weaning, however, things get infinitely murkier. I felt pressured to do baby led weaning. It was presented to me repeatedly as the thing to do. For some, this is the choice that feels right intuitively and logically. I’ve seen it be a great thing for some of my friends. It wasn’t for us. I found myself unable to do it, and then subsequently feeling like I was not being a good mother somehow. I was going against the recommended “best thing”. But the truth is, I was so afraid of my son choking that the anxiety quickly outweighed any benefit. I did not have time to examine and transform my fears, nor did it seem necessary. My son did not like getting his hands or face covered in food. He started feeding himself with a spoon (with a little help) by the time he was one. So between my anxiety, and his distaste for a dirty face and hands, baby led weaning was not going to work well for us. We ended up just mashing whatever we were eating with a fork and he fed himself, staying nice and tidy. His pincher grip developed just fine and he learned to chew, swallow, and enjoy a variety of foods.
In spite of the sense that I was not doing the “best thing”, I was still able to follow my intuition to a solution, but not before unpacking all that other input. Here in the information age, there is abundant “evidence” supporting all sides of an issue. It is our responsibility to learn the “how-to’s” of modern birth and parenting. It is also our responsibility to try and make decisions we can live comfortably with. Unfortunately, the intuitive process is not really supported by the world at large: we end up having to clear our own paths back to our deepest selves. That path is often cluttered with advice, articles, and guidelines that distract us from our own inner knowing. Ultimately, it doesn’t feel good to make a choice that isn’t unified in heart and mind. We need both intuition and logic in our decision making process.
© 2018 Heather Self