I have parents. And these parents raised me. I am still alive. I basically like myself. I don’t feel as if I am a total loser. Are there things about me that I find less than desirable? Sure! But at then end of the day, I think my parents were good parents… but that doesn’t mean that I am going to parent like them.
I asked my mom to watch the baby while I made breakfast. I had a friend who was visiting, so I was making us eggs. As we are eating our breakfast, my mom comes into the kitchen to sit with us.
“Where is the baby?”
“Your Father is watching her.” Okay. Fine. We continue to have a nice conversation and I think all is well. My Dad is watching her right? So after about 20 minutes, the phone rings… it is my Dad.
“The baby wants you.” I go to the porch where my dad and the baby are, and she is crying like I have never heard her cry before. I go over to her, and there are little tears running down her cheeks. TEARS! I had NEVER seen tears on her little baby face!
“Dad! How long has she been crying like this?”
“About 10 minutes. You are supposed to wait 10 minutes before you do anything.”
“What kind of fucked up logic is that?!” I pick up my baby, who had a GIANT POO STAIN ON HER SHIRT! Her poo had leaked through her clothes onto the blanket, and through the blanket onto the pram she was sleeping in.
“DAD SHE IS CRYING BECAUSE SHE HAS A SHIT IN HER PANTS AND SHE DOESN’T LIKE IT!”
“Ohhhhh. I’m sorry. When you were little the rule was wait 10 minutes. I just wanted to show you that I wasn’t intimidated by a baby crying.”
At this point my mom came in as I was stripping the baby from her soiled outfit and said to my father.
“The 10 minute rule is AFTER you make sure they are not hungry and don’t poo in their pants.”
“Oh.” I knew my Dad felt bad, and once my baby was naked and poo free she seemed totally happy… but still.
“Look guys… no 10 minute rule with this baby okay?! If she is crying, I want to figure out why she is crying and try and help her out. Okay?”
They both agreed that no 10-minute crying rule. They were very gracious about it.
I mentioned to my mom I was tired from waking up every 2 hours with the baby.
“Oh. Yeah, we just put you in a crib down stairs so you had to really make noise to get our attention. You were sleeping through the night at 6 weeks.”
Ummmmm sleeping through the night or you just didn’t hear me! No wonder I have been an insomniac my whole life!
“Uhhhhh yeah. I don’t think I am going do it like that. I think I am just gonna deal with the waking up.”
Now, my mom could have gotten insulted. But she didn’t.
“I think your way is probably better.”
So yes, it is hard to confront your parents about your different parenting techniques. And yes, my parents have been very understanding that I see things differently then they did. But I totally think it is worth it to have the conversations with your parents about how you want to raise your child. If they are sensitive, just remind them that they did a good job with you and you love them, you just want to have your own style.