Learn to trust yourself.
This isn't the easiest lesson to learn but trust me, once you start listening to your inner voice and your own mother's intuition, you're going to be a much happier and confident mama. The first time I strayed from advice that I was getting from SO MANY PEOPLE was when it came to sleep training. Everyone and their grandma insisted that "crying-it-out" (CIO) was the end all and be all when it came to successful sleep training. My mother-in-law, pediatrician, coworkers, friends, acquaintances, online mamas in my Facebook mom's group, everyone was pushing me to let Emma CIO. So I tried it... one horrible, horrible night that I will probably regret for the rest of my life. Letting my sweet baby cry so hard and ignoring it went against every feeling I had inside of me. That experience opened my eyes to the truth: no one, and I mean no one, knows what is better for your baby than you do. Does my daughter still suck at sleeping in her crib and end up in my bed every night? Yep. And the truth is that I couldn't be happier about that because I know that we're doing what is right for our family right now.
Just this past weekend, my husband's entire family went out to dinner at a nice restaurant for his grandma's birthday. We were not in attendance because we didn't have a sitter since my mom was out of town. I KNOW many people in his family didn't agree with our choice and thought we should have just brought our daughter with us. My response? Nope! My kiddo is wonderful but she gets bored easily and evening is already her most cranky-prone time of the day (as it is for most infants!). Going out to dinner at a restaurant just wouldn't be enjoyable right now, plus she's still not eating table food. No thank you! I'm not paying that much money for a meal out that my husband and I are not going to enjoy. Maybe that makes me sound like a selfish brat, but it is what it is. As a parent, you have to know what you're willing to do, and what you're not.
And do not even get me started on the table food debate... I am so tired of our grandmothers trying to tell us what worked for all their kids. Great for you, that's awesome. But I'm doing things my way and really don't need to hear for the umpteenth time how you never did pureed foods. I'm too nice to tell them to piss off because, respect your elders and all, but trust me on this: that crap goes in one ear and right out the other. My daughter is still choking on puffs. We'll get there when we get there. Raising a kid shouldn't be a race, kids hit developmental milestones when they're ready, not when mama, daddy, or grandma are ready. Not all moms may agree with me on that and that's kind of the point I'm making here... we're all free to parent the way that we see fit.
So the next time you're in the store and you opt for the flavored yogurt rather than the plain stuff the pediatrician recommended, the daycare provider insists that your baby should go to the doctor because she thinks she or he has an ear infection but you see no sign of it and your baby seems right as rain to you, or you find yourself rocking your 8-month old to sleep even though everyone tells you they're too old for that, know that you are not alone and YOU ARE RIGHT. When it comes to what is best for that baby that you are raising, who you love more than life itself, who you would jump in front of a speeding bus for... you know what is best. Mother's intuition is a very real thing but it doesn't just develop fully overnight. It will grow and adapt with you as you become more comfortable in your parenting role, or at least it did for me. I am a much more comfortable and confident mama than I was when I first brought her home from the hospital.
Learning to trust myself has made me feel more in control and way happier... and now it's a whole lot easier to grin and bear it through the constant barrage of well-wishing advice givers. Cause really? Most people mean well so I just smile and nod and move on with my life. At the end of the day, the only people that truly matter when it comes to raising your child are you and your partner.