Dear Mother Of Your First Child,
There is something that you need to hear. You need to hear this daily as you're confronted by comments, questions, articles, research, and sometimes even accusations. Listen to me, and if you need to, say this over and over to yourself.
You love your child more than anyone else on the planet. You know your child better than anyone else on the planet.
The choices you make for your child will not be the same choices that other mother's make for their children... and that's okay. You can't look to someone else for how to be the best mother for your child because every child is different and you were given the unique privilege of mothering this child. Not her child. Not his child. This child. The one you hold in your arms.
If you don't want to use cloth diapers, don't use cloth diapers. If you want to feed your baby jarred baby food, feed your baby jarred baby food. If you don't want to co-sleep with your baby, don't co-sleep with your baby. You make the decisions on everything from discipline to food to clothing to education. And that's good! Because you know your child better than anyone else does. And because of how much you love your child, you will do the best you can for your child. And yes, the best you can is good enough. Despite what the media says, you don't have to be perfect. In fact, you shouldn't want to be perfect! If you were perfect, how do you teach your child how to apologize? If you were perfect, how do you teach your child to have grace for those who mess up? If you were perfect, how do you teach your imperfect child how to live in an imperfect world?
Be wise, dear mother who questions herself. Don't make decisions out of ignorance or coercion or fear of other's opinions. Do research. Ask questions. Get guidance from those who you trust and who have gone before you. And then trust yourself. You know what you're doing.