My child is not a statistic. They are not a growth chart. They are not a series of boxes I check that guarantee a happy healthy adult.
Yet we live in a standardized world that attempts to eliminate the influence of a parent’s intuition—where anyone can look at a graph and believe they are making the best decision for my child.
Someone I’ve never met. An internet troll. A family friend. A well-meaning observer. A government. A computer.
In this age everyone can find a study that agrees with their point of view. Everyone can find “research” that lines up with their opinion.
But children aren’t raised in vacuums. They aren’t lab rats that have the exact same variables at play.
They are a product of the emotion, environment, and security they are surrounded with, as much as, if not more than, what age they start school, how long they sucked a pacifier, or how early they were weaned.
Parenting is far more nuanced than society gives it credit for, and it’s easy to mother someone else’s children through the internet—unaware of the specific combination of lifestyle, personality, family culture, and development that play a role in what decisions are best for that child.
My children are happy, healthy, secure, and well-loved . . . mothering well isn’t a one-size fits all.
I will do my research. I will ask the experts. I’ll listen to well-meaning comments and concerns. But at the end of the day, sometimes making the best decision for my children means ignoring a statistic.
Because motherhood is so much more than a nation’s averages. It’s about intimately knowing and doing what’s best for your child, your family, and your home.