In the Babywise Blog I follow she mentions her parenting motto quite often. Her's is: "start as you plan to go on." I like that one and I do think about that often. Should I start alloying Kye to play with the remote control now when later it may be something I have to take away? Asking myself such questions typically helps me decide how to handle a parenting situation.
Recently I realized MY parenting motto it is: "what is my motive?" Anytime I'm faced with a parenting decision I ALWAYS think about the motive I have for making that decision. Does the decision benefit Kye? Or is it something that benefits me? Why am I doing what I'm doing? Why am I allowing Kye to do what he's doing? If you ask yourself that question a LOT of the times we do things b/c it makes OUR life easier. Not because it's what is best for the child.
I know MANY parents who HATE the rear facing car seat. I do too! Don't get me wrong. My child is over 20 lb, he's almost a year old. He doesn't like his car seat. Why not just move him to forward facing now? Well what is my motive behind that? Is it the BEST choice for KYE? Or would it just make my life easier? A mom I know KNOWS it's not the safest for her child but she says herself "it makes my life easier so I'll probably move the other kid to forward facing before a year too." That hurts my heart a little! I know the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a child be 20 lb AND 1 year old and Kye is soon to hit that milestone. However, I also know that being rear facing is the SAFEST way to be! Our car seat allows a child to be rear facing until 35 lb and we plan to keep Kye rear facing until then. Is it easiest for us? Nope. Does it make traveling a bit of a pain? Yup. But if we were to get in an accident and something were to happen to our baby we'll know we did everything we could to keep him safe and we will have no regrets.
Another area I have been using my motto is with this whole milk situation. Our pediatrician gave us the go head to start introducing whole milk at 10 1/2 months old. At first I planned on doing it. Then I asked myself WHY did I want to introduce the whole milk? Was it in Kye's best interest? The answer was no. I wanted to introduce it to him sooner because it was in MY interest. It'd save us all kinds of money on formula and be so so so much easier than having to make a "bottle" every time he went to eat. But ya know what? The BEST thing for Kye would be breast milk until 1 year old. The SECOND best thing is formula. I chose to stop breastfeeding for MYSELF (I did think of my motto! That's why I kept nursing as long as I did!) so I'm not going to rush him into the next thing for myself too. We're sticking with formula for now and will be introducing milk after we get back from my brother's wedding on March 7th. It may sound silly to be spending $80 plus for this month but every month counts and the vitamins and nutrients he gets from the formula are important for him (and he is drinking 32 oz a day so a BIG can lasts us like 5 days max!!!).
I truly believe in my parenting motto and feel like it can apply to ALL areas of parenting. I know at times I still do choose something that IS in my own best interest and maybe not Kye's. We all do! But by thinking about my motto as I make decisions I'm better able to pick and choose those times that I want to be selfish and the times when Kye's needs really do need to come first.
What parenting motto do you live by? If you've never thought of one try it! It really does open your eyes to your parenting style :)