From the moment people find out you or your partner are pregnant, straight through your parenting experience, you will hear versions of these questions.
They may make you feel intimidated, rushed, worried, anxious or even smug, depending on how aligned you are with the person asking.
When you have different ideas of where your parenting course is headed, the follow-up question is often 'Why?' or 'Why not?', which only adds to the need to defend an equally appropriate choice: Do you breastfeed? Do you read to your newborn? Have you started them in an organized sport yet? Will you send them to private school? Why would you send them to private school? When you start music lessons...
Most parents consider various possibilities, and determine what fits their family, their finances and their goals when making all of these choices.
When you feel the need to explain, justify or convince someone that your choice is *better*, everyone walks away feeling hurt. You may choose to share your reasons with close friends or family, but recognize that no matter how strong your convictions, every family does (and should!) make these decisions for themselves.
It is hard to remember when you are in the middle of a conversation, or feeling like an outsider because you are making a different decision than the group around you, but there are many valid, healthy ways to raise children. We do not all make the same choices, nor should we! Remember what is important to you, your child, and the life that you hope to create as a family.
I would love to hear which of these topics, or others, you would like to hear more about. Please leave a comment, and I will make sure to address them in the future. If it is something you would like to discuss one on one, visit my website at http://mommybutstillme.com/ to make a phone, email or in-person appointment.
This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.