Every mom I’ve ever encountered has had their own unique parenting philosophy. There are the advocates for attachment parenting who tout the benefits of baby wearing, and then there are the free-range moms who let their kids experience the world with less supervision than others may be used to. And let's not forget the self-identifying crunchy and silky moms, and everyone in between. But even if you and another mom have similar philosophies when it comes to raising your kids, your experiences will inevitably be different from each other, and that's OK because when all is said and done, only you know what approach is best for your family.
Despite the freedom to choose to raise our kids however we want, the endless opinions and suggestions can become overwhelming when nearly everyone considers themselves an expert on parenting. So whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, wear your baby or prefer a stroller, it’s important to cut through the noise and trust your way as a mom. Someday, your little one could be in your shoes also striving to be the best parent possible while swimming upstream against the current of advice, and your advice will be the advice they trust and value most. We partnered with Baby Dove to ask six women what they want their kids to know about parenthood, and their wisdom is truly inspiring for all of us moms at every stage of parenthood.
"Before becoming a mom, I thought that personal comfort and free time would bring me happiness. To some extent, it did, but no matter how much leisure travel I seemed to find time for, it wasn't enough. Quite counterintuitively, shifting my priorities off myself and fixating on the needs of another tiny person gave me the freedom that I was always striving for. I would want my son to know that even though parenthood is a big change — let's be real, it's a huge sacrifice — what you get far outweighs what you give up."
"Becoming a mom has completely changed my perspective of what it means to be a parent. I'm not just mommy, but I'm also an entrepreneur and I empower other mommies to do the same. To my little ones: My life didn't stop when yours began, instead, it's gotten richer, fuller, and more colorful. Becoming a mom has pushed me to continue following my dreams because now, you're watching."
"Parenthood is hard and so challenging, but that’s the main characteristic of the job that people seem to talk about. To me, parenthood means recognizing all those challenges but also recognizing and embracing all of the moments of fun, levity, and joy. When my daughter is an adult, I want her to remember all the time we stole away for smiles and just having a good time. Those are my favorite moments of being her mom — the ones filled with her laughter."
"I want to teach my two boys that parenting is a team effort. Whether you're teaming up with a partner, relatives, or close friends, you should never have to do it alone. Step in and be a parent, even when you're unsure or scared. Mom doesn't always have all the answers, and having other people you can rely on makes parenthood much more manageable."
"I’d like my daughter to know that parenthood is really hard. It's hard when you have to live your own life as a professional and can't spend every minute with your child in those first two years. I want her to know that mom guilt is real, but that everything I do, I do for her, and that I hope she appreciates me when she understands that mommy and daddy work hard so we can give her the life she has."
"The most important thing about parenting, and the one that is quite possibly the most bittersweet, is remembering that your entire job as a parent is to raise your tiny humans so that they become big humans who don't need you. I want my daughters to know that as parents, we aren't raising children, we're raising humans. If I do nothing else with my life, I hope that, at the end of it, I have at least raised some wonderful humans."