I've been a mother five months and I'm strangely confident. Maybe it's not so strange. Perhaps I'm hard wired for it. In my extensive experience thus far I have learned how important confidence really is for a new momma. There is no shame in it. Here are my notes on why it is ok to be a confident new mom.
Everyone expects you to have a new mum meltdown. Doubtless you will. Mine was provoked by a barrage of well meaning encouragement to give baby a dummy. In retrospect it seems ridiculous, but at the time it was earth shatteringly important. It was like I was locked in a battle. A battle to defend my dummy-less stance. A battle I did not need but must fight anyway. It culminated in my husband removing the phone from me as I rather strongly informed my mum-in-law that I would not be taking her advice for the umpteenth time that day. There was to be no dummy I wailed. I didn't feel that confident, but I was. I won my imaginary battle and with it I staked my rightful place as the solo purveyor of what does and does not go in baba's mouth. Meltdowns are necessary. They show you the way. Endure them and move on stronger.
These days confidence can be backed up with numerous google searches that support / help / assist each days new parenting quandary. Though if you aren't careful this can go terribly wrong for you. You could read across the spectrum of parenting styles and come out none the wiser. I say stick to reading what suits you. Be confident about how your heart wants to raise your child. If you are keen on attachment parenting don't go reading info on Ferberising your child to sleep and vice versa. Find websites that support your momma styles and stick to them.
You don't need to explain / excuse / elaborate your choices to anyone. I have spent much time doing all three..."yeah she slept in my bed, but it was because..." Be ok with your choices. I have opted to co-sleep. But for months I was in denial about this. Always full of reasons why it had happened each night. As if it were an accident. But it's no accident. Not now. It works for us. It's nobody's business. And so when folks ask me about my nights sleep I no longer feel a need to present them with a full round up of events. Now I just say that our sleep is getting better... Because it is. And the 'whys and what's' of that don't matter.
Just because people have advice that is different from what is in your heart does not make them right. You and your baby are in a unique relationship and it is ok for you to do what you feel is right. Just because you never had a child before does not make you wrong. It's ok to intuitively know what to do. It's ok to experiment. It's ok to get it wrong sometimes. No one is judging you. Well... Actually they probably are, but don't let that quell your confidence. Let them judge and still allow yourself to know best. Allow yourself to have the final say.
Being a confident mother, is, in my extensive five month experience vital. And if you don't feel confident, fake it till you make it! It's taken me five months to recognise it's fine to be confident. I don't need to simper to anyone's opinion, advice or their experiences. This is my experience and I'd forever regret it if I did not own it. So take charge. Be confident. You are the maestro of baby's life, play on...
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