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There isn’t one perfect way to do things

Whether you bottle feed or breastfeed doesn’t matter to me, I know you made the choice you did based in love for your child

Whether you co-sleep or sleep train doesn’t matter to me, I know we all do the best we can to try and raise children whilst struggling through the sleep deprivation the early years bring

Whether you work or are a stay at home mum doesn’t matter to me, I don’t know the discussions you have had as a family, the financial dynamics or the minutiae of dynamics that make up a family and workplace and impact onto your decision but I know you made that decision based on trying to do the best for your family

How you choose to raise your child is your choice, based on things that were happening in your life that I can’t even start to see because I am looking from the outside in and I’m not there with you in the moments before, during and after those choices but I know that you are doing the absolute best you can

I try and live by the mantra that to judge you need to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and judging takes time and emotional effort and I really don’t have the bandwidth for that – far easier to work on the basis that we are all parents striving to be the best we can

I have never met a parent who isn’t trying to do that – we may wrap it up, joking that we are just trying to minimise the therapy bills when they grown up, but the reality is that from the moment of conception our lives become about trying to do the best by our child

Comments in the press from the likes of Cherie Blair suggesting that one model of parenting, or to be precise of mothering because strangely they never talk about how a father’s behaviour impacts on his family, are just wrong – they perpetuate the myth that there ┬áis one right way to raise a family

Of course there isn’t – every family is different and every set of circumstances is different and what works for one will go badly wrong for another – what surely we all need to remember is that we are all in this together, we are all raising the next generation, we are all trying our best and nobody is sitting in the corner giving us marks out of 10 for each and every choice we make

Perhaps we need to learn to be comfortable enough in our own choices that we don’t feel a need to justify them and perhaps we need to be a little less confident that our way is the only way and recognise that if we all did this then perhaps parenting would be about acknowledging our mutual grounding in our love for our children and less about trying to live up to some ideal of perfection?

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