My 5 natural parenting fails

Natural Parenting Fails

My 5 Natural Parenting Fails

Nobody’s perfect, and I’m the first to admit it! Since the moment I fell pregnant, I have always leaned towards doing things in the most natural way possible, but that hasn’t always worked out. So today I want to share with you my top 5 natural parenting fails.

1. I didn’t breastfeed

Ok, this doesn’t mean that I didn’t TRY to breastfeed. But I gave up after about a week. It turns out that my daughter had a severe tongue tie that none of the midwives picked up on, so she couldn’t latch! She would feed for 2 hours at a time and still be screaming for food. I developed terrible anxiety and wasn’t bonding with her properly. My midwife was amazing and a natural parenting advocate, so she really encouraged me to keep trying! But I did what I felt was best for me at the time, and I switched to formula in a bottle. Finally, she was feeling full! I was getting some rest and my anxiety started to subside. Oh, and I started to bond with my baby! So, although some might disagree with my decision, I feel it was ultimately best for our family.

2. I had an epidural

I had this beautiful water birth planned. I did a Calmbirth workshop (which was amazing by the way and I strongly believe that this allowed be to remain calm and in control throughout my labour and birth). And I was going to have my baby at my local midwife run birthing centre. But towards the end of my pregnancy, my midwife noticed that the baby wasn’t growing properly anymore. After a few weeks of scans, the doctors decided I needed to be induced for intrauterine growth restriction. I couldn’t have my water birth, and I had to be hooked up to all sorts of monitors for the whole process. I preemptively decided that I might need an epidural because I could no longer use some of the natural pain relief that I had planned on, and I knew that induction for a first birth was a lot different to natural labour. So when the contractions started coming on top of each other and I wasn’t getting any breaks, and was only 1.5cm dilated after an hour, I decided to have an epidural! It was a great decision for me. My labour was relaxed and my husband and midwife assisted me into a natural birthing position, so that part was still what I had wanted!

3. I didn’t make my own baby food

When it came time to introduce solids, I’ll admit, I didn’t make my own puree. We bought organic puree instead. But I did always check the ingredients! I was a busy student when my daughter was a baby so some things were a little lower on my priority list. Our midwife recommended we let her chew on chunky foods, so puree was never a big staple in her diet anyway. We did what worked for us!

4. My toddler has too much screen time

This is a big one, and something that has made me feel really guilty. Although I restrict and limit her screen time, I still think she watches too much. When we moved to America we had no furniture and hardly any toys for a few months, so I relied on cartoons for a while (on our Samsung tablet). She became used to it and now she nags and whinges to watch TV throughout the day. And I struggle with the stress of tantrums and often cave in. It’s something that I’m really trying to improve on! If anyone has any suggestions about how to reduce screen time please let me know in the comments!

5. I put my daughter in daycare, and enjoyed the time apart

When Willow was 6 months old I went back to University part time. When she was two, I took on a full-time course load. While I was at Uni, Willow either stayed with her Lola (Grandma) or attended family daycare. And I’ll admit, it was really nice to have that time to myself, even though I was doing work! Just having that time to develop as a person away from being a mother, helped me to refresh and recharge.

Even though I titled this article ‘parenting fails’, I don’t really think that (ok…maybe the screen time problem..). But this is what has worked for us, and my little girl is growing into a well adjusted, well behaved, polite, thoughtful and kind person. So really, I would classify these as a big fat #parentingwin!

Let me know your natural parenting ‘fails’ in the comments!

Lucy

My 5 Natural Parenting Fails

6 Comment

  1. I relate to so much of what you’re saying here!! Here are my perceived ‘fails’ but as you say, it’s really more just how things were/are:

    1) it wasn’t easy to get pregnant even though we were technically very fertile. We tried for 18 months to get pregnant and were considering ivf when we finally got preggers!

    2) I also didn’t breastfeed for as long as I wanted. Miri loved formula, still does! I try not to feel rejected and to appreciate the 12 weeks we got together.

    3) Miri probably watches way too much Elmo and Little Baby Bum nursery rhymes, but when she’s over it, she turns off the Xbox and goes and reads or plays with her toys (thanks daycare!). It’s sometimes on in the background, and she asks for her bottle more then tv at this stage…(17 mos)

    4) I went back to work very early. I’m in a PhD program and only got 3 months paid leave and 6 months general extension that everyone gets…but I still went in on Saturdays from 8 weeks (Miri with Dadda!) and from 7 months, Miri had a nanny and Childcare as I was offered teaching and we needed the money. I am happy with the decision, but am surprised everytime I see babies that age and think wow, I was brave to leave her with other people that young!

    5) I weigh more then I have in my life. I know that the scale is only 1 measure and I get 8-10k steps everyday, but the combination of stressful study, a sedentary lifestyle and an obsession with what my child has eaten and will eat or that I don’t want to waste, along with not having money for a gym membership makes me chubby! I try not to let it bother me, and nobody else cares (Az is pretty happy with the boobies situation), but I care.

    6) I shop at Kmart.

    7) I eat out A LOT. See #5

    8) I lose my temper in the night when she cries after being changed, fed and cuddled. Cry it out is the hardest thing I have ever attempted in my life. It works, but man, it is torture (apparently only on me, Az can handle it way better and even tell when she’s about to drop off!). The other night I had my fingers in my ears, my pillow on my head and still felt every cry reverberate in my bones for about 15 mins. When really frustrated I hollar from my bed for her to shhhh and go to sleep 😕

    Things I’m doing right: everything else! 😎😎😎🍷🍷🍷

    1. Thanks for reading Deb I’m glad you can relate! I think you are amazing to breastfeed for as long as you did especially with going back to your Ph.D so soon. I still don’t know how anyone can be a functioning human being while they are still breastfeeding so serious kudos to mums who can handle it!

      Haha that’s so funny that she knows how to turn off the xbox! Willow watches little baby bum too, at least with Netflix you can choose what they are watching and there are no adverts. I hate the adverts that they put in between kids shows on TV, I get creeped out by them because I feel like they are trying to manipulate their little brains (well they kind of are).

      I think that it’s great you could stay with her full time for those 7 months, and also the fact that you could have a nanny at home with her is really great! You’re doing a great job! When I did decide to start Willow in daycare she had a very hard time transitioning so having her in a bit younger will definitely help you in the long run…

      In terms of the weight gain, I’m sure Miri doesn’t consider that a parenting fail 😛 But I get it, I feel like there’s a hormonal shift after you have a baby and it takes a while for your body to realize that it can stop storing that extra fat now! By the way I think you look perfect and don’t need to worry 🙂 The best thing you can do as a role model is to stay healthy (like you are), and watch your self talk around her. I only say that because I personally have had to watch what I say about myself because I don’t want Willow to pick up on me saying things like ugh I’m so fat and I hate my stomach and whatever else because I don’t want her to think that’s the way we should talk about our bodies!

      Shopping at Kmart is a huge #win, god I miss that shop haha

      Gabe and I have fallen into a bad takeaway/eating out habit since being in America, I’m trying to change though and consciously make an effort to only eat stuff prepared at home, mainly because of $$

      I can totally relate to losing my temper through the night, a couple of times I have raised my voice (when she was younger, she mostly sleeps through now) during the night and then felt so bad after! But she was really wearing me down waking up 6 times through the night until she was 2. But it does get better and I can assure you as long as she is loved and cared for (which she is) then you are doing exactly what you should be!

      I hope I replied to every part of your comment 😛 Talk soon xx

  2. I love this post because we so often have this perfect picture in our head as to what we will have our kid be like and what sort of parents we will be. To be honest i think we set ourselves up to “fail” because we put too much pressure on ourselves. I dont look at myself to have failed any part just trial and error on rpt! I would agree perhaps not enough outdoors time these days and too much abc iview app. I also use food to bribe her into the car seat lol
    But its either that or i get reported to the authorities because i do not lie- she screams bloody murder when i try to get her in.

    I did indeed breasfeed for a sucessful 9 months amongst studying and working 3 days a week which i am proud of. But i did not have any issues like latching or supply which is why and like every child is unique so are mums! And we shouldnt be so hard on ourselves! i made it work with the help of a couple formula bottles here and there 😉 im a huge advocate for natural parenting sure but mixed feeding saved our asses alot. Sure its so convenient to flop a tit out but when i found myself breastfeeding my 4 week old in a disabled toilet at a wedding i decided im always bringing a back up.

    I did make my own purees and food for her that was something i did put all my time and effort into doing. Often required some late nights but it encouraged me to eat healthier too. And admittedly my MIL was living with us so she would help too!

    Now, i work 5 days a week. She gets the organic packaged foods occasionally, eats lots of fruit she loves mash but she hates meat! Impossible to get meat into her diet unless i puree some chicken breast into the mash but thats annoying because if she doesnt like it i have to discard the whole damn batch.

    All in all. Im proud of the little girl ive created and the person she is becoming. She too is compassionate, polite, intelligent & such a good girl. Sure i forgot to buckle her into her swing when she was 3 weeks old and she fell out onto her head….. #fail but doesnt seem to have harmed her IQ? Lol

    Keep it up Lucy!
    Xx Amy

    1. HAHA this comment made me laugh! I admit I also bribe Willow with food, I usually have some lollipops in the house specifically for bribing purposes lol I still am amazed at how long you breastfed, that’s so awesome. I wish mixed feeding was spoken about more often because when I told the midwives that I wanted to formula feed I originally was going to keep pumping and mix feed, but the midwife made some discouraging comment about how it’s too difficult to take breastmilk when you go out. I wish she had encouraged me to pump and at least give it to her when we were at home and then formula when we were out. But being a young new mum I was pretty dazed and confused so I just did what she said.

      It sounds like she has a really good diet! Willow has always been a pretty bad eater with hardly any appetite so I try to have some gummy multi vitamins in the house to ease my anxiety about whether or not she’s getting enough nutrients. I know they’re not a replacement for a balanced diet but seriously I supply the kid with enough fresh fruit and veg for a whole zoo and she eats like two bites haha

      You should be proud! haha don’t worry I’m sure lots of us were dropped as children and we’re ok….kind of 😉

      xx

  3. Hi Lucy 🙂 We have a no screen until after 4pm rule that we’re pretty strict about. That way there’s been a morning play and usually an outing, an afternoon nap, and we’ve picked up Mathias after school. They stay out of my way while I cook dinner, and after dinner, there are no more shows. They know what 4pm looks like on the clock, and dinner makes a natural break. When things get too hectic and they fight a lot, I take away shows for a week at a time, and usually after the break they get along much better and are better at entertaining themselves (although the first few days of prohibition are hell!)

    1. Hey Pili!

      Thanks for reading and thank you for the advice! I think that’s a good idea, I need to schedule our time more and try to stick to it…..sticking to it being the difficult part. The days can just go so long when you’re at home (as you probably know!) but I know that if I make sure to have something organized during the day that helps! I’m still trying to get a routine going and am looking into a few hours of daycare twice a week, so hopefully it will be easier to stick to my guns when it comes to screen time once I can nail a routine 🙂

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