Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Woman, Listen to Yourself!

When I look back on my parenting and life in general so far, the things that give me zero regret and make me feel proud are the times I really listened to my instincts and did what *I* felt right about.

The terms mommy guilt, anxiety, and others are thrown around so often that I would start to use them to talk myself out of my instincts.  When I was struggling to know how to make my firstborn sleep (ha ha) and not want held, because of outdated ideas I'd heard from others, I felt a tremendous amount of guilt and anxiety.

Two things saved me:
1.  My sister
2.  Prayer

My sister recommended books on the topic, attachment parenting books which changed my life!  And when I prayed to know how to make this "crying it out" work I got an answer--that THAT was not the answer.  Reading those books assured me that my instincts were dead on.  There was a reason I felt so much anxiety.  Then the peace I felt when I tried what my instincts told me, helped me know I was on the right path.

That was just the start, but just yesterday morning (now I am 8 1/2 years into my parenting journey) I awoke at 5 am.  No child woke me up, just my brain starting working/thinking.  I started right in on frustration with myself about wasting my opportunities to sleep, but then decided to pray rather than criticize myself.  Once I started praying I instantly felt the urge to go check on one of my children.

I knelt next to her bed, put my hands down on her blanket and she sat up and started throwing up.  I was able to keep things as clean as possible and hold her and help her.  I felt so empowered after that!  I was grateful I had prayed, I was grateful I had listened.  And most of all I was glad my instincts/the Spirit helped me wake up even though no one was crying for me.

I embrace my feelings, including the guilt and the anxiety.  When I choose to pray about them I usually find something that needs resolved.  I am so grateful to be Heavenly Father's daughter and especially to be given the opportunity to be a mother.  It has been the biggest learning experience ever, and I am sure will continue to be!