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Advice for New Moms

I don't know who receives more unwarranted advice than new moms. Whether it's regarding the baby's sleep, schedule, food; or perhaps the mother's sleep, schedule, or food- advice comes from all angles toward new moms.

When I was pregnant with my son, I sought out a bunch of advice from the people around me who had already had the experience of pregnancy and giving birth. I asked a ton of questions, I listened to my peers, I read all the books and the blogs. I listened to podcasts, scrolled through mom Facebook groups and Instagram pages, and did loads of Pinterest-ing. I had my mind made up about the way I would feed my son, the schedule he would follow, and the way I would raise him. He would listen to me because I am his mother, he would eat the food I prepared because I am his mother, and he would follow MY lead as far as scheduling went.

Little did I know, my son would be the one to run the show. The moment I laid eyes on him, I knew he had me wrapped around his itty-bitty pinky finger. I would cross oceans for him on his timeline, and if he cried because I did it wrong, I'd do it again. Not only that, but as parents, we truly are slaves to our newborns’ schedules. They decide when they’re hungry, sleepy, or feeling playful. They are their own little people after all, right? All the advice I received from the people around me suddenly seemed useless. I mean who really cared if my son followed a strict eat play sleep schedule?

That wasn't the only advice I threw out the window. See below for a fuller (but still condensed) list:

"Let him cry. He has to learn that you're not going to be able to respond to every sound he makes."

"Get him to sleep in his own space from day one. Otherwise he'll be sleeping in your bed until he's 18."

"He has to learn to play independently as early as possible. Leave him on the ground for 20 minutes or so, even if he's crying, so that he knows he's okay by himself."

"If he falls down and cries, ignore him. He needs to know not everything is a big deal."

"Make sure you put your baby down; don't hold him too much."

None of this advice felt right to me. In my heart something just felt wrong about not responding to my child, leaving him upset without consoling, and expecting him to be independent after spending nine months growing inside my body. I knew there had to be another way to raise my son that both honored his needs and allowed me to be an authority figure in his life. There had to be a way to validate his experience without diminishing mine. There had to be a way to raise my son that felt good in my soul.

I stumbled across a couple of Instagram pages that resonated with me and my parenting philosophies, and eventually found myself down the rabbit hole of parent coaching. One of the best things about receiving parent coaching is that there isn't any advice involved. A stranger wasn't sitting across from me telling me how I should or shouldn't parent; rather, a kind and empathetic person was sitting across from me with open arms, inviting me to re-parent parts of myself I didn't know needed it, all while supporting my journey in becoming the mother I so desperately wanted to be for my son.

So often I think we forget that just because somebody else went through something we are about to endure, doesn't make them an expert. It doesn't mean that their way is the right way; in fact, it doesn't even mean that there is a "right way". When we're receiving "words of wisdom" from people in our lives we hold near and dear, it's easy to take what they say and make it gospel. But until we are faced with the situation and forced to make a decision based on our values, that advice is null and void.

I am a certified parent coach and a mom to a toddler. I have read the books, I have studied the research, I have received the coaching. I have gotten all sorts of advice from all walks of life, and I can tell you from personal experience that you do not have to listen to what anybody else says about the way you raise your child if it doesn't feel good to you.

*Unpopular opinion: you don't even have to listen to your pediatrician- especially regarding sleep. But, that's a topic for another time.*

Raising children is hard enough without the unsolicited "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" coming at you from everyone in your life. Do what feels right for you and your family, always.

I would love the pleasure of being that kind and empathetic person sitting across from you allowing you to re-parent yourself and supporting you on your journey in parenthood. It would be an honor. To learn more about how I can be that for you, book a free call with me HERE, and we can chat.

As always, thanks for reading.


A little flashback of my itty bitty guy at three months old. Photo taken by Shelby Williams, on Instagram @nativerootsphoto_

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