We’ve written several posts about the joyful, yet complicated early Motherhood years. I feel like, after a full 6 years in these trenches, I’m finally phasing out of the difficult stage. There is something refreshing to me about the fact that I don’t have diapers in the house. My kids can tell me what hurts when they are running a fever, 50% of them can use the bathroom by themselves and I don’t carry a diaper bag anymore. I’m entering new territory in Motherhood and it’s awesome, kind of scary, but mostly just really super awesome.
I don’t consider myself an all knowing Mom but I have given my fair share of advice over the last few years. I’ve tried giving this advice to only those who ask and have done most of my tips via the blog. Naptime Tales and our readers have been such a blessing to me- I have found an amazing amount of encouragement from people commenting on posts or emailing us. I’ve learned more from our NTT friends than any pregnancy book or new baby guide I’ve read (and I read them all). You guys, you seriously ROCK.
Even though it can be delivered with the best intentions, advice isn’t always received positively. I’ve felt plenty of stings throughout the last 7ish years from small, seemingly innocent pieces of advice. Everyone was well meaning but when it came to two topics in particular: Layla’s eating issues and Jack’s sleeping issues, most opinions and advise did nothing but put more stress on an already tough situation.
I am guilty of the same. So, so, SO guilty of it. My daughter is an amazing sleeper and I thought it was something I did. I’d give my opinion on methods to anyone and everyone that complained about their babies not sleeping well. She also potty trained early, I had a whole lot of advice about that too. Then my son came along to SUCK at sleeping AND potty training. I quickly realized (like, the moment he was born) that I didn’t have a freaking clue what I was doing. I’m completely unqualified for this.
Over the last 7 years there is ONE piece of advice that has never failed me. It took me 6 years to realize it, because it isn’t said often to new mothers enough. In a world full of resources and opinions, info just a Google search away, we forget an important fact that no one can argue-
Every baby is different. Every family is different. Every situation is different.
Why on earth do we have all these resources telling us our pregnancies should feel awesome, our babies should be sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and our toddlers should be potty trained easily at age 2? All lies.
At what stage in our children’s lives to we adapt to the fact that all kids are different? For me, I finally figured it out myself right before my son turned 3. And let me tell you- the moment I accepted the fact that he sucked at sleeping and the moment I relaxed about the fact that my daughter takes 17 hours to eat lunch…my life changed. I let go of so much anger, anxiety, fear and annoyance about the fact that my kids couldn’t master these simple life functions. Then, just like a snap of a finger, they GOT IT. My son started sleeping better, not normal, but better and my daughter is happier at meal times.
We all need help from time to time and I’m thankful for the resources available to get me through parenting. But the pressure of overloaded advice and resources is overwhelming. We don’t expect our school age kids to be doing the exact same thing as their peers, why do we expect this of our infants?
I’ll continue to give advice on sleeping, potty training, that weird rash and analysis of snot color to any of my friends that want it. And I’ll continue to use this blog to write about things that have worked for us. But all that advice will come with an important disclaimer: Every baby is different. Every family is different. Every situation is different.