I've read a few blog posts here and there recently where younger mothers are really struggling with various aspects of their lives. Whether it's not feeling fulfilled being a Stay-at-Home-Mother or just not quite feeling up to the challenge.
I'm no "expert" expert but I've been at this game for over twenty years now and it's fair to say, it gives you some perspective. Here's what I've discovered -
There are no medals. Nope. None. Actually, despite the huge wars that often rage on in comment boxes, in the news and even on TV, most people don't really give a flying fart how you raise your kids, as long as you're not starving or smacking them.
Drug-free births? Breast-feeding? Baby-led weaning (whatever that is)? Really, pat yourself on the back because no one else will. They might shout and ball about these issues over the ethernet, but in most cases, (and in my humble opinion) that's just parents who aren't really sure about their own choices. Which leads me to discovery number two....
You don't have to argue your point. Yes, most of us who are active on the Internet usually have an opinion or two to share, but it isn't necessary when it comes to parenting. Do your own research, ask a few friends for advice, then get on with it. If you're confident that you've made the right choice, you won't feel the need to shout about it or put down people who don't share your approach.
Ignore the voices. As I said above, those who disagree vehemently with you are usually just crying for a medal (see above) for the choices they've made. And even more usually, the louder and bitchier the voice gets, the more that person is trying to vindicate her own choices. (I'll say "her" because, let's face it, I don't see a lot of dads going at each other in quite the same way.)
This too shall pass. Just remember, every phase of your kids' lives is just that - a phase. Whether it's taking off their diaper/nappy and smothering the walls in poo (been there), whacking all your tulip heads off with a kids' Five Iron (got the t-shirt) or not paying attention when parking the car and almost taking the side off (sigh), it won't last forever. That obviously doesn't mean you needn't be annoyed, upset or downright terrified at the time, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Until the next one!