As parents, we want to do what’s best for our children. There’s so much information and conflicting opinions out there regarding what you’re supposed to do and not supposed to do. Regardless of the question you’re asking or the information that you are seeking there is one opinion that is worth listening to above all else: your own.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for the egotistical know-it-all parent! Don’t let your head swell up – I’m not saying that you (or I) know everything. Nor am I saying that the advice of others is to be ignored. What I’m talking about is trusting your own instincts and intuition.
Have you noticed the one piece of reoccurring advice on almost any baby subject on the internet? It’s not usually in the articles or texts written by experts. It’s almost always in the comments from other parents (usually moms) reading the articles. The advice? Trust your gut. Mother’s intuition – you know your baby best. Do what feels right to you. I hear the same thing all of the time when I talk to other mothers. This bit of advice is everywhere!
So, if we all know it then why talk about it here? The reason: we hear it and say it over and over again but do we actually believe it? I think most people would answer yes. If we didn’t believe it then we wouldn’t say it.
But when I look at all of the angst and confusion we have trying to figure out what’s best for our babies it makes me wonder how strong our beliefs are. We spend hours researching what to do, what to buy, what not to do, what others are doing, what is recommended by experts, etc. The intentions are always good; we want to know how to be the best parent possible. However, sometimes the more I research the more confused I get. When there is conflicting advice, how do we know which to believe?
Trusting our intuition can be challenging, especially when it goes against what everyone else is doing or it differs from the recommendations of experts (such as doctors). One thing I have noticed in other parents and have been guilty of myself is letting the opinions of others sway me. If our gut feeling goes against what is strongly recommended then whose advice do we follow? How do we have the confidence to take that leap of faith and follow our gut feeling when all of the “evidence” is pointing us in a different direction?
We often get out of touch with our intuition making it difficult to know what feels right. I know my gut feeling gets lost when I’m frustrated or upset making it much harder to sense what my baby needs or what I should do.
Over the next few posts, I’m going to describe several techniques that I use to help strengthen my intuition. I’d love to hear your techniques as well – feel free to post them below!