“Tune out the people that like to tell you who you are and what you are. Discover those things for yourself and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not good enough”
I can remember at the very start of my pregnancy that I googled everything. From what I should be eating, to even how I should be dressing. Every site was different. So many people had so many different views on everything. What was I supposed to actually do?! Was I supposed to try all of these things that everyone is suggesting?
Everyone always tries to offer advice on how to raise your newborn, what worked best for them, what they’ve heard works best for others. I found listening to this advice tiring, I mean there was just so much of it! How can I use all of this advice in raising my baby? Surely I should be doing it the way I want to? The way my partner wants to? I thought this was our journey and we should be figuring this all out together.
At times I felt I was given this advice because I was doing something wrong. Maybe these people could see that I was failing and most definitely needed all the help I could get. This made me so paranoid that I just couldn’t think any longer. Maybe they knew what was best for my baby and I wasn’t fulfilling this need for him. When I had my lowest of low days, offering advice made me sink even lower. It made me feel that I wasn’t doing this job properly at all, and it must be so obvious to everyone else. Usually I would just sit in the house all day so no one could see how I was with my baby. My baby smiles and laughs. He is a healthy weight. He can see and hear and make noise, I must be doing something right, right?
And that is what I have learnt today. Everyone’s advice, whether it be from friends, family or google, sure it is greatly appreciated , but only I know what works for my son. He only knows what comes from me and my partner. We have made mistakes, we’ve learnt what each whimper or cry means, how to make him laugh, when to send him to sleep, but all through trying ourselves. I realise that I am not failing, people are not telling me how to raise my baby because I’m crap at it, they are just wanting to help.
Obviously there have been times when I just don’t know what else to try anymore , and I have reverted back to google to try and make sense of this insane screeching that is coming of out my baby. But it’s all new to me. It’s still all new and I just have to keep trying to see what works. If my baby is happy, I know I am doing a good job, I don’t need a thumbs up from a website to tell me that.
As I have been writing this, my little man is screaming the place down as he is fighting sleep. Some say leave them to cry it out, others say to nurture them to sleep. I can’t bare to listen to my son cry, I could never leave him to cry it out. Luckily my Mum is here who is rocking him , soothing him to sleep. That’s how I want to raise my son. That is what I have learnt with him and that is what works. And Lo and behold, in under five minutes, he is fast asleep. Red faced from screaming, but asleep. But that is what works for me. Everyone is different. Every baby is different. How do you know what works unless you try? Nothing works first time, and I’ve found out that only I can find out what to do, not what people tell me to do.
What I have learnt is to listen to your own advice and any advice from people you have trusted, you know your baby, you know what makes your baby smile and if your baby is happy then you’re doing something right.