I was recently at a home consultation where three generations were living under the one roof.
I had the opportunity to have a quick private chat with Grandma and she made a comment which echoed something I have heard on many occasions.
“I don’t remember sleep being so hard when we had kids.”
It really got me thinking.
What has changed in the space of one generation that has made such a a big difference to infant and child sleep?
I can guarantee that the babies are all still the same.
There’s scientific research into infant and child sleep which dates back well before the 80’s which doesn’t differ much to modern studies, so the knowledge has always been there.
If you sit down with your parents and their friends and asked them about their parenting styles you would find that some practiced attachment parenting, some sleep trained in one form or another, some were helicopter parents, others were more authoritarian and the rest were probably somewhere in-between. Just like today.
The one major difference is that there was no mum (or parent) shaming. Everyone just did their own thing. Whatever worked for them they did without any second guessing. There was no guilt! If anything, when things got tough they just jumped straight in to help each other out, no questions asked.
The issue now is with how we access information. Anyone can share their opinion online and this information is not regulated and is so readily available.
Everyone shares carefully selected snippets of their lives. What we share is perfectly orchestrated for what we want everyone to see.
Social media has a lot to answer for.
Even if we’re not actively searching for something we are constantly bombarded with other people’s opinions. Not just our friends, but complete strangers.
Something which you may have never even considered to be a problem could suddenly become a big deal.
We know we shouldn’t care, but we do. It’s hard to ignore it.
The loudest voice isn’t necessarily the voice of truth nor reason. It’s often that of clever marketing or big egos.
So, how do you navigate this minefield and make sleep/parenting simple again?
You could do a tech detox, but that’s not always a feasible or realistic option.
You can tighten up your social media security and block, filter and mute certain content but you’ll always get leaks and be exposed to unwarranted personal opinions.
But I do suggest starting with YOU.
Sit down and figure out what’s important to you. What kind of parent do you want to be? What are your beliefs? What is important to you?
Find parenting gurus who speak your language, someone you resonate with. Follow and stick with them.
If you’re interested in research, look up some peer reviewed scientific studies. Understand that when you are reading a blog or news article you are reading someone’s opinion. It’s their interpretation and not necessarily accurate (yes, I see the irony in this being an opinion piece shared on socials 😉).
It’s a confusing time to be a parent. But I guarantee that if you are confident in WHO you are as a parent, it will take away a lot of the stress around HOW you parent.
You are enough and that’s all that matters.
Do what makes you and your family happy.
One on one consultations and downloadable sleep guides are all available online x