“You’re always going to wonder if you’re doing things wrong, but that’s what it means to be a mom, to care so much about someone else that you just want to be as perfect as possible.” —Naya Rivera
There’s no guidebook to the motherhood journey. It solely relies on instinct and experience.
When I became a mother (still has that fresh ting to it :)), I had no idea what modern-day parenting was, I didn’t know what BLW or sleep training was, I had no clues about attachment parenting or gentle parenting, I was unaware of baby-wearing and the evolution of cloth diapering, I was clueless about Montessori learning methodologies, and the list can go on and on.
All I knew was that I had been blessed with a healthy, adorable little bundle who will undoubtedly demand all my time and love. All I knew was that I was going to do the best I could for my child. I wasn’t a part of any race or a competition. I wasn’t out there trying to show “how it’s done”. I wasn’t trying to earn the title of a “good mother” or a “hands-on mother”. All I was trying to do (and still do is) what I feel is good for my child’s well-being.
As my journey progressed, I learned from my experience, I learned from those around. But the biggest and the most important lesson I learned was to listen to my mom-instincts. I confess, when I was a new mommy, there were times when I had been influenced by how other moms were dealing with motherhood. I gained insight, learned a lot of things I had no clue about, and I am forever grateful for those who made me aware and shared their experiences. But there were also times I regretted not following my gut. There were times when their hit, sure-shot formula backfired when I tried it. I realized what my elders expected me to do wasn’t always the right or the only way to do it.
When you become a mother, there are as many pieces of advice as the well-meaning people you know. It is easy to get lost in the sea of unsolicited advice you receive.
Here are my biggest learnings from my motherhood journey I have been on so far.
- TRUST your instincts. It doesn’t mean turn a deaf ear to what other experienced mothers have to say. It simply means, follow your heart. If you feel, what they say is what might work for you, go for it. But if you feel it’s not right, no matter how pressured you feel, don’t follow that advice. My golden rule has been to – Listen to all, do as your heart says.
- It’s not a race! It’s an experience. Enjoy your journey. Don’t let how others are raising their children overwhelm you. Like no two pregnancies are the same, no two children are the same. And hence, the way they are brought up will also differ.
- There is no such thing as bad parenting or good parenting. Only parents doing what they consider is the best basis their experience and capabilities.
- Learn, try, move on. Yes. There will be failures along the way. And that’s absolutely fine. Learn from your child. Get up and start walking again.
- Social media is not an expert. There is only so much an Instagram account can tell you. Yes, there are tons of insta-moms (including myself) out there, thousands of blogs (including this one) that will give help you understand this journey, but only a mother can truly understand what her child truly needs.
- Motherhood journey: Document if you want to. Maintain privacy if you think that’s how you will be comfortable. Don’t get influenced by others.
- If there is one person you should follow, follow your doctor’s advice. And your child’s pediatrician.
- Make life simpler for yourself by blocking anyone who makes you feel inferior. Without meaning to do so, some people end up making you feel bad. Instead of feeling inspired, you end up feeling miserable. Ctl+Alt-Del. End task. Or at least distance yourself till you become stable.Unless they inspire you.
And lastly, ignore these points if you feel they won’t and don’t add value to your journey. It’s as simple as that. 🙂
We’re always learning – it doesn’t matter from whom, others or your own experiences. As long as we do what’s best for these tiny humans, is what matters.
Would love to hear about your experience and what helped you or is helping you stay a positive person. Or what have your challenges been and how are you dealing with them.