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!