In the last 9 years I have learned alot about Motherhood.
I started with very little equipment and while I am certainly no "expert" now, I have come a LONG way.
Taylor's Top Five Tips
1. Go with your gut.
Usually "Go with your gut" is terrible advice. Cause you see ... I think you are a depraved sinner and the whole "follow your heart" line of thinking will lead you down a sad, dark path of sin. "The heart is wicked and deceitful above all things, who can know it?". And I don't trust my gut, Id MUCH rather read a book on the subject. It is just how I am wired. However. God made us Mommies with a built in mothering instinct. And I have learned I can trust my mommy instinct and should.
This addresses the "DANGER" alert system hardwired into a mommy. This means that when you get that "Danger" feeling, that unsure fluttery feeling that may be totally unjustified in the moment LISTEN. Seriously.
Once I let my two year old play on big kid equipment after being assured it was "fine". She broke her leg and was in a cast for months. I have many more instances where I went against "my better judgement" listening to others or ignored that red flag gut feeling that ended in disaster.
Now I have learned to trust my mommy instinct. It may mean that my children cannot have cups with straws in the car (because I envision the straw going through their palate if I slam the brakes), or that they get to climb trees...never, but nonetheless my children are safer and I am much less stressed out.
2. Attachment parent
Now I am not exactly an attachment parenting guru. But going along with #1 above, attachment parenting styles are much more natural for mommies and babies, and generally go with a mothers natural gut instinct. Why stress you and your baby out attaining some arbitrary goal? Or because you are afraid of a negative result? Or because you are in competition with Mrs. SO and SO?
What I mean by this is .... pick up your baby when they cry. Sleep with your baby close by or even in your own bed (gasp!) for as long as it works for you, 7 weeks, 7 months, or even 7 years. Nurse your baby on demand! Babies want milk... when they want it! Wear your baby. Bathe with your baby. Skin to skin. Lavish love on your baby. They are only a baby once, and I promise they will leave your bed, they will learn to sleep without the breast, they will bathe alone. Don't stress about "independence" it will come naturally. Isn't this the exact message your mommy instinct says? Find what works for you and your family and toss everything else.
3.Do not compare
Pinterest.Facebook.Twitter. We have more ways than ever to see and compare parenting and mothering. Stop! Just Stop! Who has time to make Dr Suess themed lunches? I know I do not even want to.... and yet. I work so hard to just have a great birthday party for one kid... only to feel shame that I didnt have a huge, stylish, themed party months in the planning. I have yet to take on half the arts and crafts projects that I am "suppose" to do with them. And lets not even talk about the dinner menu. Alas I must be a total failure!
O wait. None of that matters in the least. Seriously. It just doesn't. My children will have great birthday memories. Plain ole PB&J for lunch with crust ON is fine. Providing guidance and abundant art supplies is enough. And dinner that is healthy and warm is just fine too. And sometimes if my kids have tunamac for dinner, if we miss bath night,if I buy a cake from the bakery rather than trying to bake one myself, if their socks don't match....it's OK. Have grace for yourself Momma. And don't compare yourself to others
Altogether think of ways you can simplify every area. Everyone will be happier! Less stress, less mess, more time, more enjoyment. Critically examine your schedule, your routine, your stuff.
At my house this means I do not own dressers. Instead we use small plastic drawers for undies and socks and hang up the rest. Less folding, less dusting, one less piece of furniture to care for, and more play space in the kids room. It means I never match up socks, ever! I buy my husband all the same socks, and I do not care if the kids socks match or not, in fact they prefer for them not to! It means I purge my kids toys often, and only keep the best stuff and limit the number. I also do not over commit myself.
Find what works for you and your family. You don't have to fit in a box. You don't have to try to be "normal". Your family is an individual family, made up of specific people. How you manage your home should be highly specialized for your families individual needs.
For me this includes my sensitivity to noise. Noise stresses me out. So I do not buy or keep loud, obnoxious, battery operated toys. That is OK. It means we start our school later in the morning because I so highly value a quiet, laid-back, morning environment. It means I don't pressure my more introverted children to be outgoing, and I accept each of their personalities and work around individual weaknesses (while still character training of course).
Liberty. Freedom. No unnecessary stress.
What are some of your stress releasing, freedom finding tips that have worked in your own family?