Parents, Follow Your Heart
by Sarah Marquez
You shouldn’t have gotten that epidural. You should have done more research. You picked the wrong name. You should not have used formula.
Us parents start to face guilt, opposition, and judgment before our sweet baby is even in our arms! It seems that someone is always telling us that we are wrong, we are horrible parents, and we are ruining our child.
Well friend, let me tell you. All those people can go to hell. You’re doing just fine.
How do I know this? First of all, if you’re reading a parenting article then you care enough to try and learn something. Second of all, you might have clicked on this because you’re looking for encouragement and support.
Parenting is the scariest, loneliest thing I’ve ever done (even though I’m happily married and being a mom is more than I even dreamed). It’s paralyzingly isolating. I often stick my head above the water to keep from drowning, and look to see if anyone is reaching out with a helping hand. And I get a foot in my face instead.
Not only is parenting the most alienating thing I’ve ever done, but it’s not like my first kid popped out with an instruction manual. There’s only so much reading you can do about changing a diaper or breastfeeding a newborn; eventually you have to learn by experiencing.
I’ll tell you again, because you deserve to hear it twice. You’re doing just fine.
Being a mother has truly shown me that things do not always go according to plan. It could be childbirth, breastfeeding, sleep training, or starting solids. We make the decision and then it falls apart in our hands. But that’s OK. Because being a parent is not about sticking to Plan A. Being a parent means having the selflessness and flexibility to say “OK let’s go to Plan ‘whatever the hell is the best for my child.’”
When we follow our heart, we are letting our love guide us. We take everyone’s opinion into consideration, from our pediatrician to our friend’s pediatrician to the lady behind us at the grocery store. We’ve done more Google searches than we’d care to admit, especially in the middle of the night while the world is asleep. But in the end, we are the guardians of these little souls. They are in our care. And our fierce desire to provide for them is what has the final say.
So if nursing is excruciating, or you all sleep better in your bed together, or you really don’t like the popular Mother’s Day Out teacher… go with your gut. That motherly (or fatherly) instinct is there for a reason.
And those of us who are in the trenches with you, we are all cheering you on. We’ve been there and we know: when you follow your heart, you’ll never go wrong.
Sarah E. Marquez is the owner and writer of RealSimpleMama.com, a parenting website with an emphasis on education and support of natural birth and attachment parenting. She brings her years of experience as a teacher and a mother together with extensive research. Her ultimate goal is to help parents follow their heart while learning of all the various options when it comes to making decisions for their child. Parenting is already difficult enough as it is, without guilt and regret and judgment.
Sarah taught band and elementary music before being able to stay at home full time with her babies in 2015. She loves playing and reading with her kids, doing craft projects, being in the sunshine, and cooking healthy meals for her family. She also loves gaming, theology, politics, and anything that’s made with dark chocolate.
Sarah lives in south Texas with her high school sweetheart, who works for a school district as a bilingual specialist; her three year old son, Kiddo; and her one year old daughter, Tiny.
You can find all of Sarah’s published titles on Amazon here.
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