Mother Knows Best

Dear Mom,

I’ve been reading all those free parenting magazines that come in the mail. How on earth do they get my address, anyway? They’ve got suggestions for everything! How to get rid of  Cradle cap, (take a toothbrush to his head while washing his hair) how to bathe him, (to shower or not to shower?) when to give him solid food, (he’s very interested in my chocolate bar) and when and how to read to him. Did you know you’re supposed to start reading to a baby when they’re still in-utero? So I decided that late is better than never, and I got out my cute little copy of Mother Goose to read to my darling.

Have you ever tried to read to a 2-month-old baby?

The Owl and Pussycat went to sea

No, sweetheart, don’t eat the book.

in a beautiful pea-green boat

Oh, Baby! you spit up on Mr. Owl.

They took some honey and plenty of money

Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

Don’t cry, honey. Here’s your blankie.

The owl looked up to the stars above

Sweetie, don’t pull on that, you’ll….. tear it. Let mommy find some tape.

I think you get the picture.

The point is, everybody wants to get their two cents in on child-rearing. Parents, grandparents, in-laws, the pastor’s wife, magazines, books, websites, people at work, everyone knows the best way it should be done. It’s enough to drive a first-time mom crazy! And everybody’s standards are different. Who should you believe? The First Year says that breast milk can be stored for 5-6 days in the fridge, but Healthy Moms says 8-10. BabyCenter.com says babies that are held or ‘worn’ (in a baby carrier) tend to sleep too much and not develop as quickly. Dr. Sears says babies that are carried or worn constantly are happier and more well-adjusted. This book says schedule him, this book says don’t… There are too many opinions to wade through.

It’s taken me this long to realize that no matter who thinks what, I am the one who knows Jude better than anyone else. I am the one who hurts or benefits from his schedule or lack thereof. I am his mom and I will figure out or decide what is best for him. Reminiscent of Bernadette Peters, Mother really does know best. Too bad that nobody tells brand-new moms that.

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