10 December 2010

Following My Gut

I've said it before, but my style of parenting comes not from reading a book and trying to implement the author's advice, but from following my instincts.  That was how I found I was actually following most of the guidelines for Ecological Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting before I'd even heard of those things.  Those practises and ideas were what came naturally to me and what seemed right.

Yet so often we're told to ignore our instincts.  Sometimes this in relation to scheduling feeds or controlled crying or not co-sleeping, all things that many mothers are told but which my instincts said to do the opposite (ie: I feed on demand, I don't do CIO, and I co-sleep).   Sometimes we're even told that these things will go against our instincts but that we need to ignore our instincts because they're wrong!  I know it's easy to second-guess ourselves as mothers, but I think our instincts are mostly the right way to do things for our families.

There have been many times when I've been convinced to make a parenting decision that went against my instincts, and it is those decisions that I've come to regret the most.  When I was in labour with K, my instincts were telling me to labour in the shower, but I didn't continue that in hospital because I wasn't sure I was "allowed".  When I was pregnant with C, my gut told me not to get the H1N1 jab, and yet I succumbed to it.  Now I see that my instincts were right, and I'm glad I didn't have any adverse reactions.

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