Why you should ignore ‘how to’ guides and bossy people

This post is about doing things you’re own way. Everywhere we look there are instructions, prompts and pressure to conform. There’s a guide to everything from how best to put food in your baby’s mouth to surviving Christmas. Things are best when you follow your initiative and keep your head up. As I realised recently, I was born into a country led by Margaret Thatcher and 28 years later had a daughter born into a world led by the first black president. There is such amazing evidence of progress, we have to believe in Obama’s message of set-backs and keep our spirits high for the future. I wasn’t even planning on talking about Trump. He just creeps into every conversation doesn’t he?

But basically, just because some people incite hate, it doesn’t mean we all have to. Let’s do it our own way, and apply the philosophy to everything we do. I say this with one thing in mind: baby food. It’s a far cry from building walls across Mexico, but only just (I joke).

Maddie very much doing it her own way!
Maddie very much doing it her own way!

I’ve found some online groups infinitely helpful since having Mads this year. I now consider myself a big advocate of things I wasn’t overly passionate about before, but to some this appears only as following the crowd or going down the hippy route of parenting. Anyway, that’s another post. There’s just one exception to this thought and that’s baby-led weaning.

Anyone who has tried this may liken it to a one-sided food fight. The kind you saw in school canteens in films as a teenager and thought would be pretty cool. It’s not. Giving someone, who has only in recent months discovered they have hands, food to feed themselves is incredibly messy at best and wasteful of time, food and money at worst. If you fancy trying it, I can advise withdrawing the wages you’d spend on food and ripping up the bank notes before throwing them over your kitchen floor. They’ll be easier to clean up.

Some people argue giving babies pureed food leads to fussy eaters. I’d argue it leads to faster, cleaner and happier mealtimes, without losing out in any way on providing a range of tastes. I’m lucky in that (so far) Maddie is a really positive eater. She hasn’t turned anything away and has a great, balanced diet. I don’t know why anyone invests in things like baby-led cookbooks either, it’s just adult food. Ads on my newsfeed for baby-led weaning include things like homemade coconut scones (why?!) and spending hours cooking lasagne, only to be offered without cutlery. Every mealtime quickly omitted the same emotion I felt once after cooking a Sunday roast and dropping the plate on the floor the second I’d finished pouring the gravy. It’s not fun, and your baby will eat approximately 2% of the food you make.

Here are some other things I’m doing my own way: bedtimes, work, haircuts, travel… the list goes on.

Something I think I safely follow the herd on: craving wine. I’m ok with that one.

See you next week, take it easy.



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