I remember the day I was curled up reading through the latest and greatest baby guidebook. My pregnant belly balanced a plate of brownies as I skimmed through the chapters. The information was overwhelming but I felt like I had it all figured out. As a first-time mom, building those high expectations set me up for unexpected surprises and created immense pressure to be the perfect parent by following all of the “right” protocols.
But the truth is, babies, don’t read books.
As a first-time mom, I knew exactly how I would parent and the type of mom I would be before my first child took a breath. With all the best intentions, we read about birth plans, breastfeeding, developmental stages, sleep training, discipline, potty training, and so on. The pressure of it all nearly crushed me in the first few months of parenthood.
We tend to do this to ourselves, especially as first-time mothers. We put a lot of stress and unnecessary levels of achievement based on how well our babies and our parenting fit into these impossible standards. Surely with all this vast knowledge, we’ll have the perfect plan for every speed bump and milestone…Right?
But my dear mamas, babies don’t read books.
I wish someone would have told me, so I’m telling you. It’s ok if you don’t go by the books. It’s ok to find a way that works best for you and your baby. It’s ok to stop using a method that only causes you and your baby stress. It’s ok to put the books down and tap into that motherly instinct we’ve abandoned in the face of infinite and constant knowledge. In fact, as a seasoned mother, I recommend you start there.