Motherhood // Parent like a Boss: It’s your choice

boss manWe had Indy’s six week check with the Health Visitor (HV) last week. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that the HV is not my most favourite person in the world… In terms job like-ability, I think it’s up there with Traffic Warden. I’m sure there are some lovely HVs out there, (and if you’re reading this and you’re a HV I imagine you are an awesome one) but I’ve only come across one HV in my almost three years of being a parent that I’ve actually liked. On the whole I’ve found most of them incredibly patronising, and think their job descriptions must involve sentences such as “Must scaremonger Parent by reeling off anecdotal information based on your own opinion of NCT Bednests.” and “Must ensure Mother is doubting every ounce of her maternal instinct before you leave property.”

Anyway… Indy was weighed and is now weighing in at 10lbs 3.5oz, which I’m incredibly proud of as, other than the very occasional bottle of formula now and again when my breasts are quite literally flat, that’s all from my milk!

Hurrah for my mammary glands!

Nevertheless, the HV wasn’t particularly happy with this increase of almost 2lbs in two weeks.

*Cue hard stare from me.*

The HV fundamentally makes me (and I’m sure thousands of other Mamas) feel like a child who can’t make their own decisions and choices about their own child. And, to be quite frank, I’m a bit tired of doubting my own abilities.

Every time, I wave her off with a fake smile on my face, secretly fuming and exasperated at the 50 ridiculous things she’s come out with during that visit. I’m an intelligent woman (on the whole) and can probably get through parenting my children without wasting 30 minutes of my life watching a video about why it’s not a good idea to shake your baby like a maraca when they cry.

So Mamas (and Papas!), I’m here to tell you that it’s your choice how you want to parent. Yes there are guidelines, and I’m not suggesting you do anything reckless, but use that noggin of yours and be your own parenting boss!

You want to co-sleep? It’s your choice.

You want your baby to sleep in a sidecrib? It’s your choice.

You want your baby to sleep in a moses basket? It’s your choice.

You want to breastfeed? It’s your choice.

You want to bottlefeed? It’s your choice.

You want to combine-feed? It’s your choice.

You want to feed in public? It’s your choice.

You want to use a dummy? It’s your choice.

You want to use disposable nappies? It’s your choice.

You want to use cloth nappies? It’s your choice.

You want to dress your child in unisex clothing? It’s your choice.

You want to dress your child in pink? It’s your choice.

You want to dress your child in blue? It’s your choice.

You want to dress your child as a tiny hipster? It’s your choice.

You want to use a sling? It’s your choice.

You want to use a pushchair? It’s your choice.

You want to start weaning at 4 months? It’s your choice.

You want to do Baby Led Weaning? It’s your choice.

You want to make purees and use spoons? It’s your choice.

You want to use pouches and jars? It’s your choice.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea… Be your own Parenting Boss. Make your own parenting decisions. And don’t listen to the HV when they say something condescending which makes you feel like the worst parent ever; smile sweetly, nod your head, and then do whatever the f**k you want.


Ps. I feel like I now need a t-shirt with “Parenting Boss” emblazoned across the front!

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  1. 13th August 2015 / 6:39 am

    Great post! They are ridiculous at times aren’t they? I think when it is the second child we do tend to know what we’re doing a bit more and we’re able to shrug off what they say but it’s awful for first time mums who feel like they’ve really done something wrong.
    I remember when Charles was a newborn, 3 days old. He would only sleep on his tummy. He was in his moses basket, on his tummy, and the midwife asked me if I’d put him in there like that. So I replied “No, he rolled over”. She didn’t say any more to that.

  2. 13th August 2015 / 7:28 am

    Its amazing how much unsolicited advice I offered onnwhat you should and shouldn’t do. Great post!

  3. Lauren - émoi émoi
    13th August 2015 / 10:12 am

    Great post! There’s so much advice for parents that you can’t possibly do it all – or please everybody. I suppose there’s a reason why they say ‘mother knows best’!

  4. 13th August 2015 / 12:39 pm

    Hallelujah! We really didn’t like our HV too, she was so nosey about whether we owned our house etc. She never really offered any support to me as a first time mum

  5. 13th August 2015 / 1:21 pm


    I remember crying after the male HV left, having given me a lecture on breastfeeding and how to produce more milk, completely ignoring the fact that I was/had been ill. I’ve hardly seen them since. I took my first to be weighed religiously, with my second she’s never been. Its a difficult enough time (or it can be) without someone interfering and making you doubt everything xx (Also – fab job with bf!)

  6. 13th August 2015 / 4:09 pm

    And possibly a second one saying “Babies are not maracas!” which you could sell in bulk to HVs to hand out as a helpful reminder after forcing women to watch that video… xxx

  7. 13th August 2015 / 6:07 pm

    You know my thoughts on HV’s. I saw one and she never came back. I never took Luca to be weighed either. They are a total waste of space and I can’t even begin to imagine how they must make already anxious mothers feel. I love this post Hannah and I agree wholeheartedly with it. Parenting is all about choices and only that childs parents can make those choices.
    Also the ‘Parent like a Boss’ tshirt is an amazing idea. I want one! xxx

  8. 13th August 2015 / 10:39 pm

    Brilliant post, Hannah.

    HVs got right on my t*ts!!


  9. 14th August 2015 / 10:18 pm

    I have been super lucky with my health visitor this time round, but I know of many who really shouldn’t be allowed within a 100 foot radius of new mums!

  10. 17th August 2015 / 6:55 pm

    ALL HAIL HANNAH!! aka THE VOICE OF REASON. I honestly wish I had read this before my first baby. I had no idea that everything my HV said was simply their opinion…. not the law of being a good mother! I doubted my instincts far too much.
    Knowing what I know now about HVs, I really am relishing being a mother to a newborn. My instincts rule. I love that sense of empowerment!! x

  11. 18th August 2015 / 7:31 pm

    Spot on!!! They made me really nervous the first time round and the amount of information some take from you, but then don’t do anything useful with it, is a bit bizarre. I’ve recently had 3 people from the health profession do that and then they started asking questions about Z. I was like eh??? What’s he got to do with me having this baby? This time I’ve definitely been firmer in what I want to do, I need to do that with the parenting police too!

  12. 26th August 2015 / 8:47 pm

    Oh I didn’t know health visitors were like this! I’m a bit worried bow about seeing one when our baby comes in October (I’m a ftm). Hoping I won’t let myself be steamrollered in my new mother tired/overwhelmed state!

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