Parental Instincts : Trust Your Instincts And Gut-feeling As A Parent

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For all the new moms reading this, here’s a message – trust your parental instincts and gut-feeling as a mother. 

In my initial days as a new parent, I would get so overwhelmed receiving tons of advice on how I should handle my twins – ‘should I exclusively breastfeed them or should I start bottle feeding? Should I swaddle them up or not? Should I buy a walker for them or not?’ Every person I talked to would have a new suggestion to give and it turned out to be so confusing. I realised a lot of times, nothing works better than our own parental insticts that can guide us to take the right decisions. 

One of the biggest mistakes we make as a new parent is not to follow our parental instincts. We choose to rely more on the internet/parenting books for information than what our gut-feeling suggests us. 

While there is a lot of good information out there, the contrasting viewpoints and highly opinionated voices of others, sometime, seem to drown our own gut-feeling. And suddenly we begin to second guess everything . We start doubting our parental techniques, criticize ourselves, our kids, partner, everyone around us and feel totally lost. 

Its wise to seek advice, take tips and suggestions from other parents that can be helpful. But it’s even more wise to first listen to our inner voice and see where our gut-feeling is taking us.  

Parental Instincts: Trust Your Instincts And Gut-feeling As A Parent

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There are certain things I keep reminding myself that helps me stay confident and help me relate to my parental instincts while taking any decision/action . 
1 No one knows my child better than me

No one can relate to our children in a way that we can. So best is to filter the information we receive from others through our own personal lens. I always assess and ask one question to myself – ‘will it work for my child‘. Each child and parenting situation is different. What worked for a friend and her baby may not work for me. So before trying anything that others found helpful, I always think and asses how suitable would it be for my family. 

2 Trust my first response 

In any confusing situation, when I don’t know what to do or have billion of options to go for, I always choose my first response. Also a lot of times, our parental insticts let us know that something is not right. 

For example – the other day before vising the garden, my kid was behaving a little different. He was excited and was jumping around, but I still felt something was unusual . My gut feeling said, there is something wrong. I kept asking him, but he didn’t tell. As soon as we stepped out of the house, he puked and it seemed like a bad case of stomach bug. 

Many a times we brush aside such thoughts thinking we are making a big deal about nothing, but that’s not true. Always follow your instincts and if the first response tells you that something is wrong, believe it! 

3 Take time to assess 

When someone questions our parenting decisions, a lot of times we give in and start self-doubting. It’s always best to stop, take time to asses, and then act. When we take a pause and rethink, we are in a better frame of mind to weigh the pros or cons of any situation.

4 Take advice, but weigh it against my gut feeling 

There is a famous saying – listen to all, but do what you feel is right. Its the best thing to follow in parenting. I usually take suggestions when needed but also weigh them against my own gut-feeling and parental instincts. At then end, only we parents know what our child needs and how best we can provide the same.

5 Ignore judgements

There is always a contradictory point of view to almost every parenting opinion. 

‘Gentle parenting is the best’, ‘No gentle parenting spoils the child’. ‘Enrol young kids in extra curricular classes’, ‘No, don’t enrol. They are a waste of time and money. Young kids need free play.’ 

Whatever option we choose as a parent, there will always be judgements and disapproving glances from friends/relatives who don’t believe in the same. Best is to ignore and move on, especially if what we do suits us and works for our family. No one is a bad parent and whatever decision we take is always in the best interest of our child.

Confidence is the key when it comes to walking down the path of parenthood. Trusting our instincts is not often all that easy especially when the baby is crying for hours and we have no idea why. We as parents usually walk in the dark half of the time but we do tend to find our way out when our instincts kick in. Staying open to suggestions is good, but blindly following others doesn’t work too.

Always believe in yourself and trust your instincts and gut-feeling as a parent. It will always lead you to the right decision. 

This post is part of the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge run by Blogchatter

S – Step Away From Parenting Stereotypes

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One response to “Parental Instincts : Trust Your Instincts And Gut-feeling As A Parent”

  1. Yes, these are valid points that every mother should keep repeating herself before the parenting stress takes a toll on her.

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