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Navigating Motherhood Advice: Finding What Works for You

Becoming a mother is a journey filled with joy, love, and, let's face it, a flood of advice from well-meaning friends, family, and even strangers. As a new mom, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume and sometimes conflicting nature of the guidance you receive. From sleep schedules to parenting styles, everyone seems to have an opinion on what's best for you and your baby. I for one can think of so many different times I’ve received both much needed and completely unwarranted advice from others. When Isla was about 2 years old I posted a picture of her eating popcorn on my Instagram. I had someone reach out and let me know that popcorn is a really unsafe snack for toddlers. I really appreciated her letting me know that and now I no longer let her have popcorn. On the other hand, I’ve had someone tell me that I’m too protective of my children and I need to let them spend time away from me and with other people they barely know. Uhmm yeah, I didn’t really receive that “advice” quite the same as the last. Sometimes people try to give you “advice” when really it’s just a way for them to shame your parenting or manipulate you into doing something a different way to suit their wants and needs.

But amidst the sea of advice, there's an important truth to remember: every mother and every child is unique. What works for one may not work for another, and that's perfectly okay. Here are some tips for navigating the wild ride of motherhood advice and finding what works best for you and your little one:

Trust Your Instincts

As a mother, you have a built-in intuition that is powerful and valuable. While it's essential to gather information and seek advice from trusted sources, ultimately, you know your child best. Trust your instincts and make decisions based on what feels right for you and your family. We co-sleep and I know that that is a controversial topic but I am more than confident in this decision and know it’s best for our family. 

Be Selective About Your Sources

Not all advice is created equal. Seek guidance from people you trust and feel comfortable with. Consider the person’s alignment with your parenting philosophy before incorporating their advice into your routine. Pediatricians can offer medical advice but they’re usually not well trained in topics relating to breastfeeding, car seat safety, and day to day parenting. So use your best judgement!

Take a Balanced Approach

While it's tempting to latch onto the latest parenting trend or follow a strict set of guidelines, remember that balance is key. Take what resonates with you from various sources and adapt it to fit your unique circumstances. Don't be afraid to experiment and adjust as you learn what works best for your child. As parents, my husband and I lean towards gentle and attachment parenting, but it’s not always as straightforward as it seems. We’ve had to adjust our approach multiple times when it comes to raising our kids, especially as Isla has gotten older. We try to be flexible and figure out what our kids are needing from us at that time and place.

Embrace Imperfection

There's no such thing as a perfect parent, and striving for perfection will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Embrace the messiness of motherhood, celebrate your successes, and learn from your mistakes. Give yourself grace and remember that you're doing the best you can with the resources you have.

I asked a group of women from a Facebook group what’s the best advice they’ve ever received regarding motherhood and this is what they said:

In the end, motherhood is a journey of discovery, growth, and unconditional love. While advice can be helpful, remember that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. Trust yourself, surround yourself with support, and cherish the moments with your little one as you navigate the beautiful chaos of motherhood.


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