Sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. Like I’m failing. Like I can’t be what everyone needs me to be. And it’s a suffocating feeling.
What the experts don’t tell you in all of their books and blogs and articles and videos is how hard it is to remember, let alone consistently implement, all of their tips when your brain feels like it’s been surgically replaced with a dirty old sponge. The longer I do this the more I’m realizing that the only thing I can do is what feels right, in each individual moment, knowing very well that it might not feel right the next moment.
I’ve tried. I’ve tried letting her cry it out and scheduled naps and restricting my diet and eating whatever I want and sleeping on her back and sleeping on her stomach and letting everyone else hold her when she’s crying even though I know all she wants right then is me. I’ve tried making lists and reading books and prepping meals and making time and and and and and. I’ve tried the “right” way. I’ve tried your way. At this point I’m just too tired. I’m too tired to listen to everyone else’s opinion about how I should be doing this. All I can do is what feels right.
And what feels right, right now, is trusting my baby. I trust her. I trust the feeling I get in my gut when she cries. The feeling of knowing. Knowing what she needs. I’m learning her cues day by day. I’m learning the language of her cries. I can tell the difference between “I’m tired”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m in pain”, “I’m lonely”. And I’m tired of explaining it to everyone else. Just trust me when I say I know. I appreciate all the well-meaning advice, but it’s not as helpful as you think.
Here is some unsolicited advice of my own. Next time you see a mom trying to soothe her crying baby, go up to her and smile. Tell her she’s doing a good job and ask her how you can help, if at all. If she doesn’t need help, just step back and watch here. Stay near enough to offer support but far enough away to admire her innate ability to take care of her baby. And then, once she gets her baby settled back down, remind her how impressive she is. THAT is helpful.