Don’t Stop Believing
One of the hardest struggles I bare as a parent is that of believing in my own gut feeling or my intuition. There are dozens of moments a day where I am making decisions based solely on what I feel is right in that particular moment. With my first daughter I was more scheduled. I would decide to follow some sort of regimen and regardless of what I was feeling in any particular moment, I would stick with my larger goal as a way of proving that I could parent the “right” way. With my work as a parent advocate and a postpartum doula I have learned that parenting is fluid, not linear. There is no schedule to be followed except that of life. There is no way to expect that each day should run the same from start to finish. Although I struggle with this almost more than with anything else I would like to offer my insight and hope that someone out there, a parent or parent to be can learn from my struggle and live in a place of believing in themselves more than anything else.
There are so many resources for parents to follow that it has become more complex than it used to be to parent by some “right” way of doing things. I can walk into a bookstore and pick up books that will directly contradict one another while claiming to be THE way to parent. The newest fad changes before I can even finish a book about it. How are we supposed to parent in a world where parenting is changing faster than we can keep up? The only answer is don’t stop believing; in yourself, in your parenting intuition, in what your child needs, in the life you are creating before you. You will make mistakes, you will spend 45 minutes trying to sooth your child to sleep before the lightbulb goes off that she is hungry. Yes, you fed her already and no she shouldn’t be hungry but we all know that the shoulds get us down, turn us around and make us forget what it is to be the parent that our children need.
In any given day I feel as though I make mistakes which could have been prevented. I have to believe that it is all part of the journey. I have to believe that I am doing the best I can and I have to believe that without these mistakes I would be unable to learn how to be better, more present and more honest with myself about who I am as a parent and as a person. It will not always be easy and in fact it will probably bare more hard days than good and in the end we will miss every moment that is passing beneath our tired feet and exhausted eyes.
So I remind myself and I offer to you: Hang in there, never stop believing in the strength you have within you and always remember that being honest with yourself is the only true way to parent correctly.
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I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.