Finding Your Mommy Gut

Finding Your Mommy Gut

When I became a mother over six years ago, moms who were so confident and sure of their decisions always blew me away; they seemed to just inherently know what to do in any given situation. They didn't have Google on standby or a collection of parenting books at their disposal, and they definitely didn't head to Facebook or Google every time they heard a strange cry or saw a wayward rash.

Me? I used the Internet and books like a life raft--desperately holding on to anything that might help me feel a little more confident about the choices I was making as a new mother. But after a while, that life raft began to seem more like an anchor, pulling me under with every well-meaning recommendation I read.

I still remember the time I brought my daughter to her 8-week check-up. I was convinced she had severe reflux and was trying to state my concerns to her pediatrician. She had been crying around the clock for weeks at this point, and if she wasn't crying, she was nursing me bone-dry. Needless to say, my pediatrician told me my prognosis was incredibly wrong. She simply wanted to nurse to sleep, and I kept taking her off in hopes of teaching her how to sleep throughout the night (just like the sleep books said I should do). My pediatrician sat me down and said, "Just let her cry it out. Give her a few days and she will sleep." I left that office more confused and in tears. How was I supposed to let my 8 week old child cry it out? That was against everything I stood for. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't do it. But with my husband's help, we gave it a try. 15 minutes later, I busted through that door and saved her. Enough was enough. There had to be a better way. That is when I searched to find another plan - a plan that went along with my mommy gut, not completely against it.

In this day and age, where everyone has a blog or Facebook account to sound off with, new parents are at no shortage of information and advice, and it seems like no topics are off limits. Nursing vs. bottle-feeding! Homeschool vs. public school! Traditional medicine vs. homeopathy! Working mom vs. stay-at-home mom! Everyone is wrong or right depending on whom you talk to. It can be maddening! 

After a few months of mothering, I eventually learned to tune out all the noise and trust what those self-assured mothers had: a mommy gut. I came to realize only I know what's best for my family and me, and that was such a liberating feeling. Now don't get me wrong, I still seek advice from trusted sources and friends! But I always tell my clients what I'm telling you today: it's best to follow your mommy gut over strangers on the Internet. After all, you are the one who knows your child best. Yes, everyone needs guidance and advice sometimes, but I'm willing to bet that, deep down, when it comes to the important decisions, you know everything you need to know about your baby and her needs. 

I know this might seem strange from a sleep coach (after all, I make my living giving advice!) but if I could tell a new mom one thing, it would be to pay more attention to her gut and less to the blogs, Tweets, and bystanders. Best practices are great, but the best parenting comes from moms and dads who trust their instincts over the Internet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Nothing came close to preparing Melissa Perry for the birth of their baby, almost 7 years ago. The string of sleepless nights and exhausting days left Melissa feeling anxious, irritable, and unsure about her ability of being a good mother. That's when she founded The Cradle Coach, LLC. Melissa felt there needed to be a go-to place for sleep support. Since then, she has received a certification as a maternity and baby certified sleep consultant from the International Maternity and Parenting Institute. Melissa has a team of consultants who work with clients throughout the country specializing in baby and toddler sleep. To learn more about The Cradle Coach and the sleep packages they offer, go to their website at www.thecradlecoach.com

 

 

 

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