Taking care of a tiny human can feel like climbing Mount Everest while trying to knit a sweater. Motherhood is so many things, but in my humble opinion it’s the scariest f-ing thing you’ll ever do.
After I had my daughter I worried about everything. I checked her breathing at 3am. I made people change clothes before holding her. And I freaked out when she sneezed three times in a row.
Since I had no prior baby experience, I found I could quell my growing anxiety by devouring baby knowledge from the leading experts. From the comfort of my glider, with baby on boob, I can find a plethora of opinions about everything from an increase in poop volume to nap scheduling!
The problem is…the more baby advice I consume, the more anxious and overwhelmed I’m feeling. Baby advice has started to strip away my confidence, slowly driving me completely insane.
Am I spoiling my baby or am I not being “attached enough”? Am I creating bad habits I will regret later? Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? Is this my fault?
The problem with all of this so called “expert advice” is that it leads us to believe that if we can just follow the 3 steps, or the 5 S’s, or the EASY schedule, or whatever, that all of our problems will be solved. But when it doesn’t work, who do we tend to blame? Ourselves.
We start to believe that there is a magic formula and if we don’t have a “good baby” it’s because we either haven’t found the formula, or we just aren’t applying it right. It must be our fault! And as mothers, we certainly don’t need any excuse to blame ourselves.
To make matters worse, the experts tout their remedies as being “the” way, making us believe we are hurting our children in some way by not following their advice. I read a blog post the other day from a woman who warned that if I was still nursing my daughter to sleep at 6 months, she would be destined to take short naps forever! Talk about guilt!
I’m so flipping tired of worrying about creating “bad habits” and doing the “right thing” that I’m not having fun anymore.
I mean really, is all of this information making us stronger, better mothers? Or are we becoming so worried about what is “right” that we can’t let our baby fart too loud without jumping onto our smart phones? Or maybe it’s just me.
Women are biologically designed to raise children. Deep down, WE have the answers to what’s best for our children. Advice is good, especially when you’re having a problem. But in the end, no expert advice is one-size fits all. It’s easy to forget that these are little people we’re raising, and every single one is different.
If I’ve learned one thing so far in raising my three-month-old daughter, there is no one answer to anything and nothing works every time. This is a trial and error process that we are all bumble-fucking our way through.
It’s time we put down our phones and gave ourselves a damn break!
So I’m taking a stand for myself and for my daughter. I’m taking the mama power back! I’m done worrying about the “right thing” and believing that I’ve done something wrong if these theories don’t work.
So screw you Baby Whisperer with your EASY schedule, which is none too f-ing easy. Back off sleep experts. If I want to nurse her to sleep, I will do it!
And to all of you lactivists, you back off too. I get what you’re trying to do, but breastfeeding is not a metering stick to measure your quality as a mother. They are just boobs people, nothing more and nothing less.
So how do we find the trust in ourselves over all of this “expert” advice? How do we find that mama intuition that has guided women throughout the centuries, before BabyCenter and KellyMom?
I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know that it is not online and it’s not in the latest best seller.
I’m still going to read. I’m still going to Google. But it’s time to stop trusting other people’s opinions over my own intuition. It’s time I take my power back and create my confidence as a mother the old-fashioned way, by tuning out the “expert advice” and tuning into my baby, right here and right now.
How did you learn to trust your intuition as a mom?