I believe all mothers have a maternal instinct. I believe it is a natural and inherent part of us and I believe that our maternal instinct is always right.
I also believe that many of us don’t have the confidence to use it.
Many mothers are happier to heed the well meaning advice of others rather than listening to their own instinct. As a new Mama conflicting advice and anecdotes are coming at you from all angles – how on earth are you meant to know what is right for you and your baby? Whilst your ‘Mummy –friends’ can be a brilliant and positive means of support, equally however, listening to the tales, woes or even bragging of others can have a negative impact. The topic of conversation when you’ve recently had a baby is frequently along the lines of comparing babies sleep troubles, feeding issues, childcare, and of course how close anyone is to getting back into their favourite skinny jeans…
Sadly it is such comparisons that can plant feelings of self-doubt within us and damage our self-esteem.
You think you’re doing ok but then things can make you wobble, for example; before baby was born you researched how breastfeeding is best for both and baby, yet your precious little newborn would rather cosily sleep on your increasingly red and sore boob than feed. Could bottle-feeding be easier…? 8-week-old Tommy is sleeping through the night whilst your little one is still waking and ready to play at least twice in the night. What are you doing wrong….? 4-month-old Leila is starting solids already; you wanted to wait until 6 months before starting solids…. And here is comes, sneaking up on you and creeping in – the self-doubt, the lack of certainty, and just when you’re at your most vulnerable.
So how DO you know the right thing to do??
Stop, and take a step back. Sit down, have a think and give yourself a little time for reflection. Tune in to your maternal instinct, this is the time to listen to it. Others are well meaning, but parenting isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses or following the crowd. It is far from a one size fits all kind of a gig. Others are not you, they don’t know your baby like you do. No one does. You and your baby began your bond from the moment of conception. You have been tuned into their needs from that very moment. You know what they need, you always have.
Listen to your maternal instinct, it’s there. It might be buried under a fuzzy and sleep deprived brain, but it’s there and it’s right.
Having the confidence to listen to and trust in our maternal instinct is one of the hardest parts of motherhood. No one knows what is right for your baby better than you do. After all, mama knows best. Believe it.