Written by Dawn Alsept
There are few things in life that illicit a barrage of unsolicited advice like becoming a parent does. It begins from the time a well-meaning stranger in the grocery notices your burgeoning belly, and it does not end when your child goes off to school. Most of the advice gurus really do have the best of intentions, however, some can be forward or pushy in their deliverance of said advice.
I have now parented six children and therefore been on the receiving end of an ocean of advice. It took several children, and some age under my belt, to realize this sage wisdom. I only need less than 10% of the advice I am given about raising my children.
Before you shake your head and assume me a know-it-all, let me clarify. We all need to learn that each child we have is different from the rest. What works in one person’s home often needs to be altered significantly to work in another’s.
The amazing realization is that I can trust my gut on most things, as can you. It happens when all the other moms are giving you breastfeeding advice but you just know how you should handle something. It happens at the pediatrician’s office when there is a nagging suspicion that you need to push for further testing. It happens at the playground when you just know there is a child you should have yours avoid.
You are the best mom for your child and it’s time to own this motherhood thing.
Skim the surface
When you are sinking under the layers of advice heaped upon you, skim the surface and take the highlights. Don’t get bogged down with excessive steps that many will tell you about, just skim the surface of the advice, and heed the Cliff’s notes.
Let it roll
When you know in your heart of hearts that you are making the right decision, and there are naysayers, let it roll off your back. You were designed to be your children’s mom and you know what is best for them.
Listen to your gut
If your gut tells you that someone or something is not right, listen to it. There will be people you don’t feel right about, there will be situations that don’t sit well, and there will be professionals who tell you otherwise. Listen most closely though to that tiny voice inside and trust it.
This is the hardest when you are new to parenting and you fear failing. However, this is what most closely goes along with owning this motherhood thing, have confidence that you are rocking this and that you are capable. Surround yourself with positive influences (not wordy advice givers) and keep your head held high. Not everyone will agree with your style of mothering, and that is okay, you don’t agree with everyone elses’, right? That is how we raise a world full of individuals.
Now, before you shake your head and think, isn’t she telling me not to take advice, yet she’s sharing some? Yes, I am. I am telling you that this is the hardest job ever, this motherhood thing, but that you are going to be amazing at it, in fact, you are already.
That is the best advice you need.
Dawn is the homeschooling mom to 6 of God’s blessings and the wife to a husband she counts as her best friend. She and her husband enjoy life on a small family farm where they strive to grow their own food, raise their own livestock, and homestead to the best of a modern day family’s ability. Though she loved running a homesteading blog for years, at www.incidentalfarmgirl.com, she discovered a new passion with the birth of her 6th child who surprised the family with a Down Syndrome diagnosis at birth. Now she spends her free time writing, advocating, and sharing stories to bring awareness to Down Syndrome at www.cedarsstory.com.