Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Little bit of this and a little bit of that , a pinch of advice and a dollop of gut instinct. This is parenting. This is what I want to impart to Mums ( and Dads ) there is no wrong way to do things there are plenty of right ways . And its all unique to your family, your baby and to you. I have found over the years as a nanny I did things a certain way , mostly it's the way the parents wanted things done, like a routine which allowed this and that to their liking. But as a Mum myself , I have found that I don't do anything I did as a nanny. I found myself over the past weeks battling with Professional me vs Mummy me. Professional me wants to have a routine, to put baby down at night in bed after her feed so she learns to sleep on her own, self settle blah blah blah , etc. Mummy me allows her to fall asleep in my arms and I hold on to her as I can't physically bring myself to put her down. There is nothing quite like a sleeping baby in your arms at the end of the day , mummy mattress wins every night between 9-11 pm. Then I go to bed and so does she. And thats our little routine. I see other Mums struggling with the inner dialogue of what they are supposed to do. As a nanny I would have said black and white . But as a Mum, parenting is a grey area and so I have changed my tune. Do what works for you . If they sleep in your bed, in your arms, in till 10 am then thats your recipe . If you breast feed, bottle feed or both , then thats your options. If you want to be fluid in your day , see how it goes or plan it out so you and bubs know whats coming next, then do what makes you happy and works for you. I will say have a routine, a schedule because it is useful to have a plan but like the birthing plan, ( we all know how that went) be open to changes. I call the ish plan. Thats another blog (click on link ) . I try to have one thing a day , be it coffee with someone, a class or group, or just get a load of laundry done or spend an hour bonding on the floor ( tummy time ) with my baby every day so I feel like I have done something that day. Or don't thats the joy of it.
People will always have something to say, be it helpful mothers or mother in laws , books, articles and professionals. And I used to be one and I am giving you permission to listen, learn , and discard if you want. Imagine each bit of advice as a sweet in a jar. As kids we had just enough pocket money for the local shop to mix and match sweets. We tried this and loved that, returning to your favourites again and again. Parenting is like that counter with all the colourful jars. Tried and true methods, old wives tails, new thoughts on how and what to do , renamed old ways to try. Friendly advice and heaps of intuition to choose from. We ask others what they did , what worked for them. We make that in to a new flavour for a new jar which is entirely your own. I want you to take a paper bag ( must be Eco friendly , say not to plastics ) and fill it with all the sweets from all the jars you like , and keep doing it through out you're parenting life. Some sweets you will come back to and some didn't taste or feel or look right and you will leave them behind. But your selection is yours alone and its what works for you . Everyones bag will be multi coloured and not one alike.
As mums we can get a little lost, we can doubt ourselves and we do need help, but mostly we only need to re affirm what we already know. So take the way 'she' did it and make it yours. Try the idea the book says and change it to your advantage. Watch how they hold them, burp them, feed them, soothe them, bathe them and see if it works for you . Pick what you need and mix it up to find your own rhythm, To make your own perfect concoction that feeds you and your baby's needs and wants. No two households, no two babies even in the same family are alike, and they shouldn't be and thats what makes every one so special !