The Middle Way is a concept that Buddhists may be familiar with. It is the idea that instead of seeing a situation as one extreme or the other, you must strive to approach life from The Middle Way. Everything does not need to be black and white. I have found that this concept has accidentally come to define my style of parenting
Before my baby was born I had every intention of parenting him in a green, gentle, attachment style - carrying him in a sling, breastfeeding, using cloth nappies 100% of the time. But I have found that due to one circumstance or another, this hasn't happened. I was unable to breastfeed after having problems with latching on and establishing feeding. My baby is very big for his age (he is 10 months old and 25lb at the time of writing) and loves to move about very independently, so baby-wearing did not work. Although we eventually got settled into using cloth nappies regularly, we still send him off to his grandparents with disposables.
Despite my best intentions, things have not entirely worked out how I would have liked and I have felt t guilty that I haven't been able to give my baby this 'ideal start' that I imagined. But this is not the reality of how parenting (or life) works. Things are not black and white and when things don't go exactly as we plan, we will find that we are much happier if we allow ourselves to be flexible.
It is all about compromise and doing the best that you can for your child given your current circumstances. Even if you can't do what you originally planned, there may still be options worth looking at. A good example is that, although I love the idea of home-schooling my children, it will never be an option for numerous reasons. So I am planning to get around this by sending my children to 'regular school' and doing things myself to supplement their education in a positive way, with days at Forest School during the holidays and other activities, for example. This supplemental education is something I am in the process of planning and will be the subject of a future blog post (possibly a series of posts.)
Compromise can seem like a negative word at times, so perhaps it is best to think of it as balance. It is important to find balance in our parenting and in our lives and be happy with the knowledge that we have done the best that we could do at the time. We must find a way to be comfortable with imperfection and creative in our approach to it.