Follow your gut.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I am learning on my parenting journey. Constantly. Learning. I am learning about patience, love, frustration, generosity.... not to mention the truly fantastic things my kids have taught me about their loves (also how to get a drawer closed in the bathroom that is trapping a baby in it- from behind a closed door).

I have read a bunch of parenting books and as I have said, I am not the type of mother that I anticipated being. I expected to be a bottle feeding, crib sleeping, mainstream working mom.

I tried it. It didn't work for me (I completely understand that what works for me and my family may be a world away from another). It seemed to be forced. If I had to look up how to respond to my kids isn't that a clue that the interaction is not genuine. Seeing as one of my primary goals in parenting, is to raise my children to embrace and love who they authentically are; how am I teaching that if my interactions from the start are fake? So I re-examined and adjusted. Things were better... but kids have this way of growing up and changing the rules and bursting on the scene with new challenges once you get the old ones down.

This is where learning comes in. Instead of applying the knowledge that I had garnered before about doing what feels right- I turned to 'experts' and again our relationships were strained, inauthentic, forced. Then the friction started.

So again I re-group find what fits. What truly fits me as a mother as a person and start from there.

I am a better mother, a better, friend- a better person when I do what feels right. When I go with my gut rather than when I force the issue. My kids are not defined by a parenting book. My kids are people. They tell me how the need me- I just need to learn to listen to them, in their language.

Now- be sure I am not saying do not seek advice from others. I am saying to seek advice from people like you- not from people who are what they are supposed to be. If I am struggling (and I do- often) I seek out advice- but the advice is rarely in the form of a, b, c... it is more often trying to figure out the reasons behind something, the need that needs to be met, the message that I am not getting.

When I do this. I get chills and goosebumps when I play with my children. Knowing that I am honoring them as people. Knowing that I am helping them to be authentic.

So my advice, when I am asked for it, is to follow your gut. If it does not feel right- it probably isn't right for you.


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