Yes, I’m a gentle parent and believe in gentle parenting techniques. We don’t use corporal punishment (spanking), we use calm voices, we state the positive rather than telling our son what not to do, we believe in cuddles and expressing feelings, and we don’t do time-out for tantrums, we babywear. I believe in breastfeeding (if it’s what works for you), room sharing/co-sleeping (if it works for you), responding to my child’s cries.
BUT…I’m not perfect. I’m a gentle parent but…
- Sometimes I yell. It happens, no one’s perfect. I always apologize afterwards, offer cuddles, and an I love you. I still feel guilty afterwards though.
- We have been known to do a modified time-out. And we are perfectly aware that it is for our benefit, not our son’s. It gives us time to collect ourselves so we can talk calmly to our son. And it will last a couple minutes before we join him to talk about what happened.
- I didn’t nurse. I wanted to, but M ended up being tube fed. I’m hoping to nurse baby girl.
- We used formula. M got formula mixed in with pumped breastmilk to give him added calories for healing.
- We didn’t room share or co-sleep. M went straight to his crib from day one. He had a nurse with him for 8 hours every night. We’re fully planning on room sharing with baby girl and have a Halo Bassinest (affiliate link) for bedside co-sleeping.
- I’ve been known to walk away from my child’s cries. Sometimes, I need to walk away for my own sanity. I’d usually go back within a couple minutes (if that), but that minute or two would give me some clarity and time to collect myself.
- Sometimes we just say “stop” or “no.” Because the positive just doesn’t come to mind or we’re just so fed up that the calm voice and positive talk just goes out the window. It’s usually followed by a positive though, or at the very least a “that’s all done.”
- We have and use strollers. In fact, we own 2 strollers and we use them. I prefer babywearing, but sometimes a stroller is convenient too.
Here’s the thing mamas, there’s no one way to be a gentle parent and it’s not all or nothing. We’re not perfect, we make mistakes. It’s all good! As long as we learn from those mistakes and try again the next day. Just like we try to teach our kids, sometimes we need to listen and absorb our own messages. Doesn’t make use failures or bad parents, makes us human. And in the end, our children will grow up to see that we aren’t flawless and that’s a good thing.