Be your unique self
Updated: Aug 19, 2018
Finding your own parenting style and surrounding yourself with a tribe will help you in this season of your life
In the journey from nannying to mother hood I am learning that to be my true unique self I have to look inwards, I like to be aware of what other people are doing, to be inspired. But also know the only way I can mother authentically and true is to just go by me and my baby.
"I will never look back and think I cuddled her too much"
I think some of the time I feel I've chosen the 'hard route' because I feed on demand, she comes into bed with us, I haven't left her and yet a lot of my friends have done the total opposite and I wonder how they are feeling. But ultimately I'm happy with how we are doing, shes been in the co-sleeper since day one, I love going to bed next to her and waking up with her literally in my face, (however not always quite so welcomed!) She can go down in her own cot and often does, she just tends to come into our bed in the night, because quite honestly sleep is a priority in this household, and now that I've nailed breastSLEEPing we are well away!
I believe that we go through seasons of our lives, and that is no different to parenting, there are seasons; the newborn stage, the babyhood, toddlers, childhood etc etc and right now, in this season this is how I'm going to parent, I see it as a short term 'loss' for a long term 'gain' if you like. I am going to put things on hold because she is my priority. Yes I haven't been out at bedtime but I enjoy settling her to sleep, I know that if I massage her, sing songs, read our story, feed, snuggle and put her down she will always wake after 30 minutes for another feed and cuddle. Then sometimes she stays sleeping, other times not so much so I will then take her into our room and snuggle next to her in bed, that way I can slip out of bed and not have to move her. I will never look back and think I cuddled her too much. I know that she is going to bed snuggled and full of love, and that trumps any night out for now (sorry friends, but I know you understand!) and if there is a chance to take her with us I always will!
I understand there is so much research and opinions out there on parenting, I believe for the parent to be informed and feel empowered in the choices you make. So do your research look at the extremes and settle wherever you land. There is no need to label your parenting style, everyone is unique in yourself so why wouldn't we have unique choices. That is the best you can do, that will help you to survive, if you are always pushing against the grain you will always feel unsettled.
Be proud of your parenting style, you don't have to openly admit to what you do if you prefer not to, I ask because I like to be inspired and to challenge myself. Sometimes I will try what people have mentioned they do but ultimately its trial and error to find my perfect spot. I like to openly talk about what I do in the hope that I may encourage someone else to feel happy in their season of life.
I then surround myself with like minded people, both on social media and in real life, I have those that I can turn to and have a little moan but know that they aren't going to suggest other ways to parent, they are going to nod and understand where I am coming from. I'm not going to get it right all the time, I will change my parenting style when I need to and that is OK.
So listen to your baby, watch their cues, understand their reactions and go with it. Your baby is your best teacher, trust in yourself and trust your baby.
I've missed out on Mouse's sleep cues recently which has made for some long days.. but has also meant we have enjoyed some afternoon naps snuggled in bed.
Yes my house isn't the cleanest, and yes we may not be eating our best at the moment but for now, before she starts crawling and I need to hoover more. I'm in a season on dotting on her and always being there for her, and trying to battle through this new area of being a mother. I'm not saying this is the right way, yes it works for me, I won't get it right all the time but this is where I am meant to be, and I'm going with it.
So join me on my website/ my blogging I will be giving a few tips here and there for what has worked for me, please bear in mind it might not work for you, I'm just here for inspiration. I will always ask what works for you, because I feel that's helpful for other mums and I also enjoy learning and seeing something with fresh eyes. My mission is to empower women in the choices they make.
You are doing well mama- keep at it!
You don't have to defend of explain your decisions to anyone.
It's your life.
Live it without apologies!
- Mandy Hale