Find…And Follow Your Gut
Motherhood is magical time, there’s no doubt about that. We spend our days and nights providing nurturing sweet snuggles, grooming and caring for our little ones, and dedicate ourselves to helping them grow into the healthiest and happiest human beings they can be. To many outside the world of mothering, we often look like with have it all together. Lots of times we do, and lots of times, well… we’re just treading water, keeping afloat and trying to balance it all.
This 24-hour job can be wonderfully draining. A true test of patience, showing you exhaustion at it’s finest. Often times we find ourselves looking for answers to both simple and complex problems. My kid won’t eat or my kid won’t sleep or my kid is sick. You all know the drill. Naturally, we often retreat to the Internet for answers. Funny enough, sometimes we may not have an issue at all but parenting information makes it’s way to us even when we don’t ask for it. It flies into your inbox, spackles across your Facebook feed, or blasts at you through daily news, etc. From what to eat to proper bedtime routines, as a mother in today’s Age of Overload, welcome or not, the information WILL find you. So you read, you question, you wonder, what ELSE can I do? What MORE can I give? How can I FIX this? What’s BEST?
My advice. Follow your gut.
This simple statement is not always easy when we become distracted or downright confused with the amount of information out there. A few things to remember:
1). First, FIND your gut. Heard of the mother’s intuition? It’s REAL. You just have to find it. This means taking the time to think about what really matters to you, what your priorities are, and what kind of lifestyle you want for you and your family. Write it down and leave it by your bed. When you really commit to what you believe in, your gut will follow.
2). Use your smarts. Give yourself credit for being intelligent. You are! You have tons of experience and many years behind you. Think things through without letting them drive you nuts. Remember, know one knows your children better than you do.
3). Keep health in mind. In today’s world, health is about making progress not being perfect. While you may not consider yourself a health guru, you do know what’s generally healthy for your children. If you want to know more, read more, ask for advice from other mothers, and seek out information if you want it (on your own terms, of course). Do the best you can when you can and don’t beat yourself up about it when you can’t.
4). Understand and accept uniqueness. Hey, we are all different. What works for one child or one family doesn’t always work for another. You may come across articles or blog posts that just don’t resonate or work with your lifestyle. It’s cool. We can’t all be cookie cutter little families who do everything the same way. That would be so boring! So, if you find a little information overload happening, remind yourself to consider what’s in line with your parenting philosophy and what may work best with your child’s needs. Delete or ignore the rest and don’t stress over a few different people’s perspectives.
5). Lastly, Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. I’d say chances are most of the time when you do listen to your gut, and you follow your mother’s intuition; you’ll find your choice or decision worked out great. But there will certainly be times where you run your fingers through hair and let out that big SIGH because “F$%K!” that just didn’t work so well. You likely had great intentions when trying the hottest new potty training technique or “fail proof” sleep training system. But guess what, a little poop on your floor or family bed sharing is nothing to get to worked up about. You are human. Things happen (or don’t!) and that’s okay.
So next time you find yourself in the depths of Google search or reading yet another article trending on the internet– take a pause Mama Bear, take breathe, and listen to your gut with confidence.
(photograph provided by the writer of this article, Frances Sacripanti, and captures that moment of searching for your gut that we’ve all experienced.)