READER REPORT:

Parent trap battle scars: Luck isn't enough

SHAY GRANT
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
Baby
BABY LUCK: Having a happy baby is a complicated process.

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'You're so lucky.' That's the phrase we hear most often about our son, and I agree, we are incredibly blessed to have our happy, healthy boy.

Yet, according to the parenting books, we haven't exactly been the ideal parents.

We took all our cues from our baby; when he was tired, he slept. When he was hungry, I fed him. When he was crying, I soothed him. I'm the mother who will take my baby back from you if he is unhappy. I'm the mother who will feed my baby even though he's not due for another bottle for an hour. I'm the mother who will let my baby stay up late, or sleep an extra hour at nap time. Routines are set by him, not us. I'm the mother who gives my baby Pamol when his ears ache and his gums swell and bruise from teething. I'm the mother who lets her baby play with the family dog, and his brother's shoes, and doesn't have locks on every drawer. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

And yet, I'm also the mother whose baby can stay at his big brother's sports day from 8am until 4pm without screaming the place down. I'm also the mother whose baby will happily go to others for a cuddle because he knows I will be there if he gets upset. I'm also the mother whose baby has only been sick once in 10 months, and is meeting or exceeding every single milestone. Not to mention, the mother whose baby sleeps for 10-plus hours every night and has done since he was six weeks old.

Yes, we are lucky. But we are also going by our son's cues, not the books. It can be so frustrating to hear people harp on about how they are doing what is best for their baby according to book X and how concerned they are with what we do, and then in the next breath claim we are lucky to have such a content baby.

We are here to do the best by our boy, not the best by the book. And our son is a happy boy because of it.


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