When asked to appear on national television in a debate on this question, I knew I could speak passionately about the importance for parents to seek help with sleep. Ever since, I have considered other types of help and expertise and why we feel we can judge parents choices on some things and not others.
The argument in support of parents getting help said that if parents can afford it and it makes family life easier, then why not.
The argument against said it is a parents duty to take on all parenting roles themselves.
Many people judge based on the thing that a parent is getting help with. It seems more acceptable to pay for someone to help with things that require expert knowledge but deemed lazy to pay for help with something parents ought to be able to do themselves.
Most parents will seek and expert to teach their child how to swim and no-one judges that parent or suggests they should be teaching their child themselves.
However, it seems people are quicker to judge a parent who pays for someone to teach her children how to ride their bikes, arguing that this is a milestone for parent and child to experience together.
We forget, what works well or is an important, momentous occasion for one family is possibly very challenging and disruptive for another family.
If it is important to you to teach your child to ride a bike, go for it, enjoy.
If it is too physically demanding, your child doesn’t respond well to your instruction, you end up with back problems and upset, then maybe hiring some help is a good move?
The lady who told us of her experience hiring someone to teach her two children to ride their bikes, described it with fond memories. She and her husband were present and enjoyed watching their children take to the learning and the achievement of being safely on two wheels in under 90 minutes of tuition.
There are many services available to parents. From the things that help parents who are really suffering to the smaller things that just make life a little easier.
Is it fair to judge a parents choices? When we judge, we simply place our rules on others and expect others to live by our rules.
Parents have enough pressure, guilt and learning to do as it is. Let’s not make it even harder by passing judgements and making parents even more afraid to speak out when they need help.
Part of my mission with The Sleep Nanny® is to make is completely normal to get help with infant sleep challenges. To remove any taboos or scepticism so that everyone feels secure enough to ask if they need help.
In the sleep profession, I see the devastating effects sleep deprivation can have on families. It is not a parents ‘duty’ to endure or suffer through that and doing so could come at a very high cost.
I’ve seen careers ruined, marriages ended, near-fatal car accidents and inability to function enough to care for a child’s safety. Would you risk any of this for fear of asking for help?
So I invite you to share in my mission and show kindness to all parents out there, no matter what their choices and support one another with encouragement to take help when it makes for a healthier and happier life for you and your family.