Becoming a parent, one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs you’ll ever be blessed to have. At age 19, I was rushed into emergency surgery to remove a large tumor, an ovary and a tube. The ovary they left, was also problematic and still is to this day. After surgery I was told that me conceiving would be very difficult and maybe even impossible, but I conceived naturally five times with six babies and birthed four.

First time parent. You don’t know shit, let’s just be honest. I called my first child my trial and error kid. I don’t care how much advice mama gave you, grandma gave you, how many kids you babysat, how many classes you took or how many books you read, nothing can fully prepare you for the real thing. Parenting an actual human is much different from the flour sack you parented with your classmate in school.

How much unsolicited advice did you receive while pregnant? Or after you gave birth. Everyone wants to tell you the “best way” according to them. I haven’t met a parent yet that perfectly describes every single person’s experience. Don’t get me wrong, advice is good, but a big part of this journey is learn as you go.

So many judging parents out there. When I had my first child I knew I was going to nurse her. I believed breast is best, I still do, but I’m also realistic knowing that it doesn’t work for everyone. I was a super producer. I breastfed my daughter for two years. After year one I was constantly asked when I was going to stop. “You know if she can ask for it, she’s too old” “You need to train that girl on a bottle”. Mind you, I was a stay-at-home mom with no need for a sitter. This was a commitment I made and I was comfortable with my decision. Who was an outsider to tell me how I should do it? Or judge me on my decision? I really pissed everyone off when I breastfed my second child almost three years.

“Let that baby cry” “Put that baby down, you hold them too much” “You’re spoiling that baby” You know the saying, “what you eat don’t make me shit”? The same way that one parent parenting how they choose in their house in no way affects what you’re doing.

Vaccinate, don’t vaccinate. I have seen full fledged arguments and some of the heaviest criticism surrounding this topic. I chose to vaccinate and I don’t regret it, but I also know those who chose not to and I respect it! We don’t have to agree, but it’s not my place to criticize another individual’s decision because it differs from my own.

“Just because I parent different from you doesn’t make what I’m doing wrong.” ~ Jaz

I’ve been judged and criticized on how I choose to love my children. I was told that I overcompensated. Sounds absurd right?It actually made me second guess what I was doing, but I was quickly brought back to reality. I am NOT a perfect parent but I love hard. I tell them everyday that I love them. I show them. Now, I can admit that my NO muscle in the past has been weak, BUT, today it’s a lot stronger. I hug my children. I kiss my children. I let them know how proud I am of them. I encourage them daily. I’m their biggest hype person.

I noticed that the individuals criticizing how I loved my children didn’t have the kind of relationship with their parents that I had with my own children. As humans sometimes we project due to what we lack and what we secretly desire. I myself didn’t experience the level of love from my parents that I express for my children. I also understand that I was loved from the capacity in which they could give. When I had children of my own, I made the conscious decision to change the pattern.

Today, be mindful of your words when you see parents doing it “different”. Always remember that there is more than one way to parent a child and doing what works for you, and the child/children is always best.

Until next time…🦋

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