Permissive parenting, passive parenting, Attachment Parenting, Helicopter Parenting, free range parenting, main stream parenting, Intentional Parenting, Peaceful Parenting…yada, yada, yada!! Then there is the advice of your mother, your mother-in-law, your sister, your sister-in-law, your boss, your BFF, your husband's boss's wife's cousin. How in the world is one to choose which advice to follow?!
There are proclaimed experts in every area of parenting. There is one (or many) in each school of thought. There is a whole section on parenting in Barnes and Noble. Thousands of pages, blogs, magazines and articles that specialize in telling us how to rear our children fill all of our media sources. Parenting is big business!
So how does a newly pregnant woman go about narrowing what works and what doesn’t? The answer is to read it all. That’s right, read everything that you can get your hands on while you are pregnant. Take information from all sources possible. Listen to other mothers. Sit in on cafes and small groups at The Motherhood Collective. This is all very important information to gather, especially when your baby is easily contented with your avoidance of spicy foods and nourished from the umbilical cord.
As you start collecting this information, certain thoughts and ideas will begin resonating with you. Certain parenting practices will just seem “right” to you. You will get an idea of what to do when your little bundle of joy arrives. You will get a gut instinct that will continue to develop as you develop as a mother.
So now your little newborn is here, and you want to know why the things you just knew you wanted to do with your baby aren’t working. You have a whole arsenal of things to try. The next step in developing your parenting skills is to stop reading those books and to start reading your baby. Watch your baby’s cues and signals. Determine your child’s rhythms and work with them. All of those thoughts and words of wisdom that you have gained from your pre-baby preparation now need to be adapted to fit your baby’s personality. I am here to tell you that no baby will fit inside one parenting book, but there are many ideas on parenting that will amalgamate with your baby’s personality.
You will, of course, continue to have questions throughout this crazy and fast journey of mothering. Your baby will continue to develop and you will continue to adapt. Continuing to grow and adjust are all part of this wonderful journey. You are your baby's best mother. You are also never alone. Continue to seek advice of those other mothers and your trusted physicians; but more importantly, remember to trust your gut, listen to your instincts, and NEVER say never.