(I stole this picture from this website)
Anyway, everyone was supposed to write a piece of advice for the new mom and hang it on the tree. As I was browsing through everyone's advice, I noticed the best mommy advice anyone had ever given me. My friend Holly had written something like: No matter what anyone tells you, you are the Mommy, and you know what's best. What great advice for a new mom!
It really hit home with me because since Will was born, I have struggled with questioning everything I do. Am I doing this the right way? Am I doing it at the right time? What will other people think if I do this? Is this going to mess my child up for the rest of his life? On and on and on. I constantly second guess myself and think twice (or three or four times) about every decision I make.
I have read tons of parenting books about sleep, development, nutrition, and various other topics. I constantly read "mommy blogs" and forums. I observe others and see what they are doing with their kids. It just never ends.
When I read my friend's advice, it just made so much sense. I am the Mommy. I know what's best for my baby. Who cares what anyone else is doing? Who cares what anyone else thinks about what I'm doing? I know my baby better than anyone else. I know our family and our situation better than anyone else. Most importantly, I know what works for us and what does not.
Do I think there is a place for advice? Definitely! Sometimes I don't know what I would do without my friends and their advice and encouragement. It is nice to hear from people who have "been there and done that." I also think reading books can be very helpful. I know I have learned so many things that have helped me tremendously through these first few months.
I also know that the books I read and the advice I receive are just suggestions...not absolute truth. Babies are different, and there is no set of rules and procedures that apply to every single one. They all have their own unique personalities, traits, and characteristics, and mommies know these things about their babies better than anyone else!
I am grateful for the one book that does offer absolute Truth...God's Holy Word. I know as long as I am using this resource, I have what I need to make it through any situation, as a mom or otherwise. Thank goodness for God's strength, wisdom, guidance, and grace. It is nice to know that if I trust and follow Him, He will equip me with everything I need to be Will's mom.
I am so thankful to my friend Holly for her advice. On those days where I'm questioning my every move, I will remember to trust my gut and to go with my instincts. And every day I will do the most important thing I can for my baby by offering him my unconditional love.