The Girl Without A Voice
I was the girl in elementary school who had to be evaluated by a speech therapist. There was nothing wrong with my speech except for the fact that I didn’t know if anyone cared to hear it. Even through high school I wasn’t one to speak up and share in class because I really didn’t think I had anything to say. So how did a shy girl become a blogger who puts some pretty intimate information about myself out there for the world to read (not that I really believe the whole world is reading)? At some point on this motherhood journey I started to wonder if maybe there was another mom who could benefit from my been there, done that experiences.
New Mom And Terrified
I remember clearly the days after having my first child and how truly terrified I was of the moment we’d leave the protection of the hospital and it’d just be me and my husband taking care of her. I remember expectantly asking when the nurse was going to come in and show me how to change her diaper. Fast forward several months and I started meeting other new moms at the store or the mall who would come up to me with that same fear in their eyes. I got questions about my baby’s feedings and sleeping and I remember thinking, hell I’m no expert, but if sharing my experience helps them in some way then so be it.
From Discount Diva To The No Drama Mama
For those that have been following my posts for a while you know that I used to talk about frugal living and saving money. Then as I was preparing to have my third child I knew that what I wanted to do was talk about broader parenting issues. It just so happens that Hudson Valley Parent put my blog posts on the New Moms page of their newly designed website and it feels like it’s where it was meant to be. New moms are the most vulnerable to critique by other parents. Now that I’m on my third baby, I’ve learned to let negative comments roll off my back. I know that those I love and respect will always answer my questions with concern and not critique.
Discerning Concern Vs. Critique
When Hannah was three months old it was November. I was changing her and my sister-in-law noticed that I didn’t have a onesie on her. “You know,” she said, “babies have a hard time keeping their body temperature up, so you might want to keep a onesie on her.” I was embarrassed and ashamed of my parental screw up. But the thing is I knew it came from a place of love and concern. How do I know it was concern and not just a critique? Simple, she had been by my side holding my hand and rubbing my back through 12 hours of labor. She was invested in my child’s well-being.
What’s The Level Of Investment?
So the next time someone’s advice makes you feel bad or question your parenting abilities, just ask yourself if that person is REALLY invested in the outcome. If the answer is no, just take it with a grain of salt and remember that there are almost no absolutes in parenting. There is no right or wrong way, only the choices you make based on what you feel is right.
Can I talk specifically to the new moms for just a second? The only parenting truth that I know is that your child trusts you completely. As long as you are doing everything in your power to be worthy of that trust, then you’ll be just fine. The more time goes by, the more you’ll know that and the less vulnerable you’ll feel. You’ll be able to tell when to listen and when to just trust your instincts.
Happy Mother’s Day
Moms can be such a wonderful resource for each other when our advice comes from a place of love and concern. We may have nothing except motherhood in common, but that’s more than enough. Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom in heaven and all the women out there who’ve helped me become the Mom I am today!