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22nd Mar

2014

trustmama

Navigating the mothership in a sea of advice

As a postpartum doula I often hear how frustrated women can become from the litany of advice they get after their baby is born. Everyone from Grandma to the person ringing up your groceries has a “should” or “should not” for you to follow. From sleeping to feeding to bathing to diapering, it seems everyone knows a better way for you to do what you are doing.  Along with the advice comes its ugly stepsister, judgment. Not only do others know how you should be mothering your baby, the way you’re doing it isn’t right at all.

 

To be fair, most of the time all these people want to do is help. They want to share their own experience or knowledge to help you and your baby get off on the right foot. The difficult part is that as a new mama you’re probably at the most vulnerable you’ll ever be. The ups and downs that come after your baby is born are some of the most dramatic feelings you’ll ever have, from the physical healing process to the transformation of becoming a mother.

 

With all the advice and judgment we are at risk of not trusting ourselves as mothers, our intuition and maternal instinct. However, this stuff is in your cells. You have been wired to do this since the beginning of time: your baby cries and you know whether she’s hungry, tired, in need of a diaper change or just needs to be held. So, trust these feelings. You know how to do this. Have patience with yourself. You won’t always get it right on the first try, but that’s okay — your baby is growing and so are you. Be gentle with yourself. The only thing worse than judgment from other peoples is the judgment we put on ourselves.

 

There are ups and downs to figuring this mothering thing out, but you already know how to do it. Trust that. After all, every cell in your body has been passed down from ancient times, through generations of mothers. It’s a wisdom that comes from a time before there was Dr. Spock, Dr. Sears, Dr. Ferber or any of the baby experts that have written the books lining your bookshelves right now. Some of these are great books and you will use them, but trust yourself as much as you trust the books. There is no one who knows your baby better than you.

 

Love yourself as much as you love your baby (I know: how could you possibly love anything more than that little guy in your arms right now?). Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Surround yourself with the people who lift you up, who will sit there and listen to you cry because you are so, so, so tired, but you got this, you’re not looking for advice, you just need to cry. Because it’s true, you got this. Trust that, mama. You are doing a great job. And if no one else tells you that today, tell yourself. You deserve to be told every day just what an amazing job you are doing, because you are.

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Comments

Melanie Savio

2014-03-23 08:54:48 Reply

What a beautifully written, incredibly important message to new moms! I wish someone has told me that I knew what I was doing 28 years ago! Thank you for sharing your gift…xo

    Dayvacare

    2014-03-23 09:22:02 Reply

    Thank you Melanie! You are truly doing wonderful job as a mother :)

thea

2014-03-23 09:55:50 Reply

thank you for blogging this! bottom line: trust your instincts and do what’s best for you and your family. Ive learned how to say “oh really” to unsolicited advice and move on, but sometimes it wears you down. so helpful to hear/read this and feel validated as a mother. Its refreshing!

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