I have the privilege of helping many friends and strangers learn "how to parent" except this is not accurate. I don't teach them anything--I show them what they already know. Because we do know- even if we don't know we know.
Part of this includes the privilege of being with friends as they labor and birth their babies- I also have had the pleasure of helping new moms learn how to breastfeed (it may be natural but it isn't always easy!!)
And the other day someone asked me where I learned how to parent. Interesting question. Honestly? I am doing what feels right and hoping for the best. As luck would have it there is a fairly large body of evidence that supports attachment parenting as an emotionally healthy parenting option. But where did this come from?
When I had my first I was 22 and so immature having a goldfish would have been too much responsibility.
My daughter was a preemie-- and my mom helped me gain the confidence to hold her, to change her, to feed her and to parent her. I was terrified of breaking her- so when she came home from the NICU at a whooping 3 lbs- my mom came down to stay with me and helped me figure out what I was doing. She taught me how to bath her, and supported breastfeeding even though she never breastfeed me. She found resources to help me.
The biggest thing she did was help me gain the confidence to parent Princess and trust myself to know what feels right. We have instincts for a reason- fighting them is counter productive.
So now I get to share what she guided me to learn. You can do it. You are enough. Your baby needs you.