New moms, trust your instincts…

December 20, 2012

This has taken 3 days to write, rewrite, delete and rewrite…I don’t know why I felt compelled to keep at it…but obviously, I did!

I am just an old fuddy duddy…an older mother of adult children. I was not always a good mother to my own kids in the moment, but I was ALWAYS a good mother in spirit and in the long run.  However, my opinions need to be filtered through my own failings.

I will start with a shout-out to my daughter, who is a new mom and who is adapting to motherhood with surprising ease. The competent little girl who had everything planned out and who pretty much stuck with the plan grew into a super-competent media queen who made a new plan and then into a mom who could make no plan…you go girl!

Something struck me the other day, as I was lying in bed waiting for the sun to rise. I read voraciously, although these days, it is fewer books and more blogs and newspaper articles and opinion pieces. There is so much written about moms and families right now. All those entertaining food and fitness bloggers and writers are having babies and a lot of content has changed to reflect that…there is so much information out there. Babies MUST sleep only on their backs…babies MUST sleep only on their tummies…let them cry…don’t let them cry…hold them, but not too much…never put them down…eat this…don’t eat this. And then there are all the things that you “need” in order to be a good mother…lots of “things”.

Information is good, but once you have done your research (which MAY include well-meaning advice from family and friends), it is time to trust yourself. You know this little person better than anyone else in the world. You know you will do the best you can do…as your mother did, as your grandmother did, as your great-grandmother did…and the best you can do is the best you can do. You can raise happy, healthy children even if you don’t have “things”. Just love them to pieces and do the best you can. And trust your instincts.

Oh, and don’t blink too often…kids grow up so fast…


4 Responses to “New moms, trust your instincts…”

  1. Hope Says:

    Lynna, your kids have both done well. I think you are being way too hard on yourself. I also think your advice is on point. Parenting is so different for each of us and with each child.

  2. Great post, mama…and for the record, I am happy, and healthy — all that I hope my daughter will be. So you obviously did more right than wrong 🙂

    As a Type A, I really *want* to rely on my instincts, and I’m working on it. But in those early weeks, as you know, I couldn’t trust my rational side, so having a bit of a blueprint actually calmed me down and, I think, made me more confident IN that instinct. I don’t think I relied solely on the books or advice, and I am pretty proud of the way that I just went with the flow…but for me, having a road map did help.

    Having said all of that, the 2-weeks post-partum are a world of their own. After I made it through those weeks, everything seemed to open up and become more manageable on my own. Sure, I get scared and worried almost every day, but I think that is part of being entrusted with the care and survival of a teeny little thing. I no longer let my mind run the way it used to. I can rationally work through issues (diapers, spit-up, fevers, crankiness) where in the first few terrifying days, I needed sage advice, especially from you. 🙂

    Sometimes — and this is NOT directed at you — I get more stressed by people telling me not to stress, you know? I am calmed by linear thoughts. Without to-do lists, agendas, etc., I feel a little lost. So I also think it’s OK for new moms to know that whatever works for them, works *period*. If you feel better when you read a million books, read a million books. If you (like me!) can’t just let the housework go or wear pajamas all day or ignore emails, then don’t.

    Motherhood is crazy. And every time I think I have the hang of it, something pops up. It’s pretty amazing.

    • StarStruk Says:

      You hit the nail on the head…research and advice are a GOOD thing…but at some point, you need to rely on your educated instincts and go with it. That is exactly what you have done.

  3. […] mother recently wrote an incredibly eloquent post urging new moms to trust their instincts. She wrote it from the heart and I think it truly was a love letter to the women all over the world […]

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