Overwhelmed and confused by all the advice you are being offered as a new mom? Here is the one piece of advice you should listen to.
“Have your baby naturally!” “Epidurals are the only way to go!” “Don’t ever give your new baby a pacifier!” “Don’t let your baby use YOU as a pacifier!” “You can potty train your baby from birth by learning to read their body’s cues!” “Don’t try to potty train your kid. They’ll do it when they’re ready.” “Don’t use the word no with a child under 2!” “Children need to be told NO more often!” “You should homeschool your kids!” “Homeschooling makes kids socially awkward!” “Soy Milk is best for your one-year-old…” “No coconut milk!…” “No goat’s milk!”
Is your head spinning yet? As a new mom it can be overwhelming trying to wade through all the solicited and unsolicited advice that other mothers are, oh, so willing to offer you. Some of it is great. Some of it is garbage. Some of it is appreciated. Some of it is annoying. Take it all with a grain of salt- particularly if the person is convinced that their one technique will work for every child. This is a sure sign that they do NOT have enough experience to be offering you advice on mothering. Maybe letting their kid run around without a diaper had them potty-trained in a week, but if you try it, there is a good chance you will just end up with urine-stained carpet.
It is great to read all those parenting books and listen to the advice of professionals. Learning about the way children develop physically and emotionally is particularly important in knowing how to respond appropriately to them at different stages of development. But when it comes to most parenting decisions, things are rarely cut and dry. Every child comes with their own unique personality and you will not get the same results with your second child as you will with your first.
Some children just come mild-mannered, good-natured, and obedient. Other children come full of energy, sass, and, sometimes, with a chip on their shoulder. Be careful not to give yourself too much credit for your well-mannered child or too much blame for your child who has to be guarded at all times to insure that they don’t injure themselves or others. What you should keep paramount in your mind is that THIS child was sent to YOU for a specific reason. You will learn things from this child that will change you and refine you. This child will expand your heart’s capacity to feel love in ways you never could have imagined. You will experience your lowest lows and your greatest joys through your interactions with this little human. And this child you’ve been blessed with needs to glean specific things from your life experience to help them become who they were meant to become.
So, here is the one piece of advice you SHOULD listen to (from a mother of almost 5 who willingly admits that she still doesn’t have it all figured out): Smile and nod appreciatively when someone is offering you advice- and then do whatever YOUR heart and YOUR gut are telling you to do for YOUR child. Do not second guess yourself because you aren’t doing things the way the mom down the street swears they should be done. YOU are this child’s mother- no one else is. No one else is as invested in this little life as you are. No one else could possibly love this child like you do. And as long as you are operating from a place of love, it is your ears that this child’s Heavenly Father will be whispering inspiration in when it comes to your child’s physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. Trust the One that loves you both more than you can comprehend- then trust yourself, and you will be just fine.
Other posts by Trish that you might enjoy: http://www.doublethebatch.com/im-glad-didnt-know-first-baby/