I asked the mamas at BellyTots postnatal what the best piece of advice they'd received about parenting was. The answers were suprising and, amongst the 10 women, they could be summarised into these 3 statements:
1. You DO know best, trust your instinct in the face of contradictory advice and opinion.
2. Everyone is fallible, including us and Health Care Professionals, it's ok to make a mistake, it's ok
not to know what's wrong.
3. Make a record of the highlights as you go. The moments pass so fast and you'll think you'll never
forget, but you do (baby book, photos, journal to write memories in).
It was so interesting that there were no specific pieces of advice like 'do rock to sleep' or 'don't rock to sleep'. Perhaps these are exceptionally supportive women but they all seemed to recognise and respect each other's individual journeys with unique babies. As the class ended and conversations struck up, I was aware of the lack of advice giving among them and the amount of reassuring and encouraging that was going on over lack of sleep, the beginning of teething pain and so on.
If only motherhood was about finding all the right answers - it might be a bit easier. Instead, it's so much about finding your own path through trial and error whilst gratefully reaching out and accepting support from the friends and professionals who come your way.
What's been your best piece of advice so far?