I remember the exact moment when I realized I wasn’t going to be a mainstream mom. We had come from the hospital with our new baby. She was just perfect and smelled like “home”. She had fallen asleep nursing in my arms and I got up to put her on her crib. Soon after she was screaming and crying. This kept happening until I realized this baby would not sleep on her crib.
I researched options and tried just about everything I could. I didn’t want to bed share because is frown upon, it wasn’t the “right” thing to do and then there’s all this fear people instill in you about killing your baby in your sleep.
I had no choice but to surrender to this experience and realized I just had to listen to my intuition. My intuition was telling me our baby needed to sleep next to me, and so I read up all about safe co-sleeping and our bed sharing journey began.
I knew this wasn’t the norm and for a while I didn’t share with anyone what we were doing and what was working for us. I didn’t want to be judged, criticized nor receive negative comments. I was new at this whole parenting thing and although I had no experience it seemed that when I listen to my instincts, things would flow with my new baby.
It’s been four years since this baby was born and we now have two daughters. I am not scared anymore to be vocal about how we parent. I am not scared to be confronted by our parenting style because I know this is right for my family, for my kids.
Here’s the thing, parenting is not a one-size fits all. The advice that worked for someone’s kid might not work for yours, it might not even work on your next kid. That is why there are so many parenting books out there and so many ways to solve each issue you come up with.
With all these choices and options, how do you know what’s the right way to parent? The only way to know is by listening to your inner voice, by following what your intuition is saying.
It is sometimes hard to listen to that inner voice when you have people around you that are not supportive, that contradict what you’re doing or that tell you you should be doing things another way. When this happens you need to stop listening. You need to stop listening to the outside voices and listen to what your instincts are telling you. Ask yourself, what is best for my child? Does this action come from a place of love?
If you believe in God or are spiritual you can ask for guidance and if you don’t, just keep asking yourself these questions. No one knows what’s best for your child, except for YOU.
If you’re dealing with friends or family that are really pushing an issue you can thank them for the advice and move on. Take what is useful and ignore the rest.
I was once given a great advice I will never forget: Take advice from the people that have what you want in life. If this person giving you advice is the type of parent you want to be, listen to them, but if they are not, you should look elsewhere. Plain and simple.
Almost all parenting challenges can be solved by just listening to your inner voice and the more you listen to it, the stronger it will get and the more confident you will be. The times when I didn’t know what to do, I stayed up a little longer at night reflecting on the issues. I wouldn’t always have an answer but eventually it would come to me, wether it would be in form of a feeling, thought, advice for a friend or useful information I found while researching online.
It doesn’t matter if the way you parent is not how everyone else around you parents. It doesn’t matter if you follow the common advice for some things and not for others. The only thing that matter is that you do what is best for your child. You are with your child more than anyone else, you know better than anyone what your child need. Don’t doubt yourself, listen to your inner guidance.
You will find the answers you need and when things gets too loud, make a little time for yourself. Listen to what your heart is saying and be open for whatever it is you have to do. Never let anyone crush you, never let anyone instill doubt in you. You are this child’s parent for a reason, acknowledge that and do your best.
And if you’re having a bad day, take a break and think of all the things you’re grateful for, think of all the things you love about your child and remember you can do this. Your inner guidance will not fail you, just listen, trust and keep on listening. I am not saying you will always know what to do, but your intuition will guide you to find the information and advice you need if you’re open to it.
Parenting is the most wonderful journey a person can embark in a lifetime but it looks so different for everyone and that’s why it’s so much easier to parent once you realize you don’t have to listen to anyone but yourself.
Parenting is an act of true love, listen to your intuition, to your heart and you will do what’s right for your child.