Just do what you need to do

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I’ve heard this over and over. When I had my first daughter, I wanted to do everything correctly. She will NEVER sleep in our bed. She will eat what we eat as soon as she is able. I will not give in to her whining. Right.
We all know the ‘rules.’ Some of us even follow them. Not me. I quickly learned with M that you don’t need to let your child dictate the rules, but you don’t need to fight every battle. Not everything needs to be a teaching moment, and some things are better to let go, mainly if it results in peace and happiness.
We have a lot of battles and have for the last 4 1/2 years. Nothing major. All normal. M was a terrible sleeper, and I’ve documented the route from crib to bed, to our bed, in our room, to her bed by herself. I’ve heard over and over, “You can’t let her get in that habit” or “She needs to learn to sleep on her own.” I know this, but we did what we needed to do to get some sleep. Was anyone harmed? No. Nor did we drug her to sleep through the night. For a while, she just wanted to be near us. Fine with me. Why not with you? A baby in her room did not lend itself well to the middle of the night freakouts, either. Guess what? She sleeps in her bed alone now, and we got a lot more sleep than someone worrying about doing the ‘right’ thing
Just today, I was changing Abs’ diaper on the table in her room. She was fussing and fighting and resisting as best as she could. Then, she spotted a crayon above her and started drawing on the wall. “Not in my house,” you say? Well, in my house, it’s just fine. She kept quiet and stayed still, and ended up with a neatly fastened diaper. And the crayon was washable. I may keep it there for future use.
You know what? We also tend to cook separate meals for the girls. Abs, due to allergies, but M? She is picky. We offer her other things, but would rather see her eat than not. Most nights, I try to make something simple that we can all eat, Abs included, but it just doesn’t always work. I embrace the idea of kid food and think it can be quite useful! Kid food does NOT mean junk food! I do wish they would like just what we served, but it just doesn’t happen, and not from lack of effort. I’m not going to break them down and starve them into submission to save me 5 minutes.
What else is there? I’m ok with TV, juice in moderation, videos in the car, etc. It’s cool with me because I have bigger fish to fry. Are they safe? Check. Are they fed something reasonably healthy? Check (usually). Are they happy? Check.
I’ve done my job. Worrying about every little thing is not going to make me a better mom. Striving for perfection is silly. Sometimes “good enough’ is just great. I’m cool with that. I want to tell every mom who feels the need to justify something, feeding choice, co-sleeping, whatever Stop! Seriously, do what works for you. Who cares what I think?
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