Google+ Authentic Parenting: Trust Your Instinct

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Trust Your Instinct

Guess the title says it all. This post will be about instinct... We still have it, it's what made our species survive in the first place. Yet it seems as though these days, advertising, media, so-called experts and so on are screaming louder than the voice within. Everywhere we look there's something or someone telling us how to raise our child. Not only does the discours change every so often, the information out there is to say the least contradictory and fragmentary. We can't trust our parents, because what they have done when we were little, has proven to be worng, we can't trust our friends, because they have chosen different parenting styles and we sure can't trust the media because... well, because they're the media and they depend on revenue to survive. We can't even trust our governments, because they too have a lot of interests to fulfill. How a society raises its children might well be the single most important thing a nation does, so we can expect some bias there. Can we even trust the studies about parenting? Maybe, with a lot of objective judgement about the source and why the study was conducted.  Whithout being totally paranoid and all too conspiracy-theorist, who then can we trust?
The answer is simple. Yourself!
Most parenting choices are age-old things that are embedded in our very nature!
Why can't a mother bare to hear her baby cry? Because her baby isn't supposed too! A baby cries to let you know there's something wrong, no more no less! Of course he/she cries because he/she wants your attention! What would a baby be without a mother's attention? Nothing, it wouldn't even survive.

When I was pregnant, I had all these ideas about parenting spooned in... by my mom, the media, friends. I sure wasn't going to let that baby sleep in my bed! That could only be bad for 'our couple'. No, my baby was going to sleep Alone, on his Back in a Crib.
Then the baby came and decided otherwise. Since she had to spend the first night of her life in neonatal care, she had firmly decided that would be the first and last night for a long while she would spend that far away from her mommy. And was she ever right!
One night she started throwing up in her sleep, but she kept sleeping, I try not to imagine what would have happened if she wasn't between us, if I hadn't immediately reacted. Would I have known? Neither do I want to imagine how it would be to breastfeed a child that doesn't sleep in the same bed (I'm not even talking another room here). And as far as that couple goes... It became a threesome the day the daughter was born. My husband is more than happy to sleep with his two girls, at least he gets to sleep and at least he has some time with his daughter - albeit asleep. Plus it's more than obvious you don't need to be in the bed to get busy. I'm very sorry, but if you make your cosleeping an excuse for not having sex, you probably wouldn't be having any otherwise (or very boring sex at the most ;) ).
But there were times we doubted, fearing we weren't "good parents", that she wasn't being a "good baby" and that what we were doing somehow wasn't normal. Fuck that! I have always known in my heart that was the way it should be, I just doubted myself due to social discours. I even attempted the Cry It Out method for like 3 minutes once. But to me, if you feel like you're falling to pieces because of a parenting squeeme you are trying, there must be someting wrong.

There's like another dozen of examples where my heart guided me to the attachment parenting way - way before I even knew attachment parenting existed, but I think you get the picture. We should all just connect to our inner selves some more and know that when it feels right, it probably is right!

This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.



  1. Completely agree with what you have to say: "We still have it, it's what made our species survive in the first place. Yet it seems as though these days, advertising, media, so-called experts and so on are screaming louder than the voice within."
    When so many people just follow the herd mentality..not only is it infuriating, it is scary to see such attitudes from so many people resulting from so much brain washing. People like you through your blogs etc. help bolster that Gut Feeling. Keep it up.

  2. It maybe because you live abroad... but you are a very smart parent ! I am so deep in our western society that it was very difficult to recognize my instinct from the usual nonsense we are bombarded with. I knew I could not stand my baby crying, I had to get him and cuddle him. I knew I should breastfeed him, but I quit way too early. I made mistakes. I am able to recognize my instinct way better with my third child ! The peer pressure is nonetheless very hard to withstand, sometimes, when a whole lot of different people tell you you are doing wrong on one specific matter...

    Hey, AP, I am one who does not bedshare but still breastfeed at night. It is doable, but leaves you in a perpetual foggy state... Bedsharing doesn't work for us, because hubby is a savage at night and keeps waking baby up... I do bedshare when he is away, though !

  3. Thanks both of you *blush*
    Murielle, I must admit that it gets harder to stay authentic when I'm in Europe, the whole society is tweaked to get you to give up authenticity, babywearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping etc... it all gets so much more difficult. But we persevere.
    It is so much easier to hear your instinct without all that noise.

  4. I am so SURE it is easier to hear your instinct without all the noise ! Can't wait to discuss it with you (noises and instinct).
    But yay for you to be smart enough to choose to live abroad in more traditionnal societies. It is smart of you and help you avoid easy traps (I fell in...)


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