I’m only 8 months in over here but I’ve already got my number one piece of parenting advice for the rest of my career as “mom”. Want to hear it?
Stop listening to parenting advice.
Okay, okay. That’s probably a bit extreme. Let me try this instead: Above all else, trust yourself. If you need support, find your tribe of like-minded mommas (or daddies) and listen to what they have to say. Then use it IF you feel it’ll work for you.
Here’s my point, moms and dads… Every child is different. Every parent is different. Every family is different. Sharing advice, personal stories, and opinions is great. You know what’s not great? Getting down on yourself because someone else’s “golden secret” doesn’t work for you or makes you uncomfortable. Trust yourself and those mama bear instincts. Try different things. Be prepared to accept defeat and move on. Don’t ever be sorry for doing what’s best for your child.
Let me take a moment to share an example. I’m going to share my current sleep secret. Are you ready? Its a good one. My 8 month old infant sleeps on a stack of blankets on the floor. 😂 Let me explain myself here before I’m reported to CPS…
The past month my little man has had a heck of a time staying asleep at night. I read article after article full of sleep tips and ‘ultimate sleep secrets’. I’ve gone from feeling like I don’t show him enough love to feeling like I’m coddling him too much. This is where finding your tribe and knowing your parenting style comes into play. I, personally, should have never read any article about crying it out. I’m not against it for others but my soul can’t take it and I really think my stubborn child would go blue before settling down. It won’t work for us and THAT’S OKAY. On the other end of the spectrum, I’m also not willing to have him constantly sleep in my room until he’s much older and THAT’S OKAY, TOO. Know who you are and who your child is and look for advice that fits the two of you. Don’t let yourself obsess and feel bad over advice that isn’t your style.
After so much searching, it hit me that none of it was working and ‘What am I doing?’ because I know my child better than any random online article. So I watched him that night on the monitor. When I stepped back and paid attention to my child instead of desperately searching for an answer from strangers, I found the answer. It turns out being a crazy bed hog must be genetic. Just as I roll around and flail like crazy in my sleep, so does my son. He was trying to roll and spin and go crazy in his sleep and kept slamming into the sides of his bed and waking himself. That’s why he now has a blanket bed. Plenty of space, no fall risk, and no slamming into sides. It’s what works for us. If I would’ve trusted my own instincts instead of running to the internet to compare myself to all the “my baby sleeps perfectly” moms, I could’ve saved myself a lot of stress and negativity, along with a few extra of those sleepless nights.
So. Call me crazy, ladies and gents, but that’s my advice. Stop looking for advice and start trusting yourself. Nobody knows your child better than you. You’ve got this mama bear (and papa bear, too)!