In a card I received for my baby shower, my grandma wrote, "Listen closely to all the parenting advice you receive, then do it your way."
I don't regret a single parenting choice I have made. I'm a researcher and I am definitely one to thoroughly think through each and every option until I find what I consider to be a perfect fit for me and my family.
Yes, we practice positive discipline. Yes, Nora is still sleeping in our bed. No, she is not ever left to "cry it out", and we continually work to build mutual trust and respect. She is held or worn all of -- OK most of -- the time, we rock her to sleep every night, she is fed on demand and not on a schedule, and we are using an alternate vaccination schedule that ::gasp:: excludes some of the CDC recommended vaccines. I don't worry about my child being clingy, dependent or spoiled, nor do I fear she will sleep in my bed until she's 7. She plays in the dirt, she occasionally eats leaves, and she is allowed to make messes if she pleases.
Why does there have to be a "best way" or a "right way"? I suppose bottom line is I am open minded enough to be able to see that there is more than one way to raise a child and know that what works for my family may not work for yours. Every time I am given the side eye or hear a condescending comment regarding a choice I have made, I can't help but wonder why people so readily criticize something they know nothing about just because its different than how they would have done it. Even if you've tried it and it didn't work for you, is it really that hard to see that not only is every family different, but every baby is different? Each should be raised according to what makes them thrive -- not down the mainstream channel of cookie-cutter tried and true methods.
I do not think I'm better than anyone. I do not look down upon those who spank or sleep train. I don't even offer parenting advice to other mothers unless I'm asked. All I know is that I have the most perfect, happy, wonderful, cuddly baby who makes me appreciate each and every day as a gift, so I must be doing something right.
When I do begin to doubt myself, I remember what my grandma said.