Trusting your instincts not so easy

A woman alone

Being a first time mum or dad is hard. I know I’ve said that before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but it really is.

I fully appreciate now what people said, that you really don’t get how hard being a parent is until you are one. What worries me is that I’m only just getting going on this whole parenting journey.

The thing about being a parent is learning to trust your instincts, your feelings etc.

I think when you have a firecracker baby it is even more difficult!

I’m not sure when new parents begin to feel confident in their parenting decisions. I know for me that for the first five months I’d say I didn’t trust myself at all.

I’m not talking not trusting myself to keep Sidekick safe but decisions regarding issues with how you get your baby to sleep, the decision not to do cry it out, the fact that we are now bed shares.

I don’t know if its harder because with a Firecracker baby the norms just don’t seem to apply. The routine, the reduction in milk feeds once they are on solids, the self soothing, the list goes on.

Maybe it’s because people seem to feel that they are perfectly allowed to weigh in on our parenting decisions.

For example a colleague of Hubbys told him that we shouldn’t bed share, that it’s a bad habit. Now Hubby is a lot more polite than me, I would have turned round and said something along the lines of ‘oh fine then I and the baby just won’t sleep’. The thing is we would waste so much time trying to settle Sidekick back into her crib that we’d be even more sleep deprived.

Then comes the other argument, if you keep doing it they’ll get used to it. Yeah we tried that for months, it didn’t work. This is the best option for us now.

We don’t weigh in and say we think you are inflicting emotional abuse on your child if you do cry it out.

Ugh. I’m tired and I’m fed up of being judged.

But you do begin to question what you are doing, especially when you’ve had some rough nights. You being to think that maybe you are wrong. Maybe your gut instincts are misleading you. Maybe you do need to just do what it seems everyone else is doing.

You think this but there is still that little voice, that niggly feeling that tells you ‘no’. That is the feeling that you need to focus on, that’s the one that is telling you what you are doing is right, that by not doing something that you fundamentally don’t agree with (CIO), that by parenting at night with as much dedication as you do in the day, is the best thing for you and your child.

It’s hard, so hard. I’m here with you, sleep deprived, body aching, wondering how I’ll make it through the day as Sidekick races around the house (seriously fast now at the crawling!). But you will, we do.

Don’t listen to those people who are telling you that you are doing it wrong, that you are making a ‘rod for your own back’, that your child will get bad habits. It’s a load of pish tosh!

You are doing what you are meant to do.

It’s hard but these hard nights and days are the foundations of a beautiful, strong, confident child.

 

The pen is mightier than the sword, why not say something

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