Cue Alanis Morissette! Here’s some irony for you: you’re about to read a new mom’s blog post on the internet about how the Internet can be the worst thing for new moms.
Internet, the Worst Girlfriend
Okay, maybe ‘worst’ is too strong of a term. There are some pretty bad books and in person advice givers out there too so how about we say instead that the internet can be like that irritating friend you had back in high school who you really don’t want to hang around with anymore but you do anyway simply out of convenience. She lives close by, can be hilarious, can be comforting, she’s someone you can go shopping or travelling with whenever and wherever but somehow you always ended up vowing not call her again for a long time because ‘you need a break.’ Sound familiar?
But then, you of course forget your vow and end up calling (because of all the reasons listed) and then you make the poor decision to have a ‘real’ conversation with her. You foolishly ask her opinion of something you’re dealing with and when all you really need a voice of reason to bring you back to earth, to give you a big dose of “stop your pity party”, she’s that friend who instead gives you just enough food for thought that your small dilemma becomes bigger and bigger until it’s no longer a little pot hole of doubt, but instead a bottomless pit. As a new mom, this is soooooo NOT what you need.
Not only will she let you wallow in your own self pity but she’ll help by passing you bigger and more sophisticated digging tools for your rabbit hole, she’s bringing more and more layers of doubt with each scroll and mouse click and finally, she’ll pass you a headlamp to make digging that deeper and deeper pit of questioning despair even easier to navigate as you burrow through a labyrinth.
Looking in all the Wrong Places
Okay, so it’s not all THAT bad but you get the picture. If we travel down the rabbit hole, we can find exactly what we’re looking for depending upon the mind set that we have when we first begin our quest. As a new mom, I don’t know if what I’m doing is ‘right’ but because I’m often questioning what I decide, I am always successful in finding something that will tell me that I’m wrong. This doesn’t help the new mom, sleep deprived mind rest easy!
And because I’ve been doubting my mommy instincts and turning to the googles to check to see ‘if I’m doing _______ right,’ I’m wasting valuable time learning to listen to myself and to my baby. I should be putting down the ever easily accessed phone, not checking the kabillion facebook groups that exist for the purpose of supporting their opinions (which are certainly not all expert opinions – this post included!) and just trying what I think is right and learning from my own mistakes or wins!
That’s not to say that there isn’t a time and place for these groups. I’m a member of a few Facebook groups and truly enjoy the comradery. There are some things that all new moms have in common that no one else can understand and being able to have a forum to question, vent, ponder, laugh, and share is really quite enjoyable. I’m simply suggesting that we spend more time listening to ourselves and trusting our own mommy instincts than relying on the masses to tell us ‘if we’re doing ______ right.’
My First “Trust”
I will never forget the first time I actually listened to my ‘mom’self. My son was 4 days old and we were still in the hospital. We’d had a lot of issues around feeding and I vividly remember the night it began to click for both of us. I told my husband to spend the night at home and let me go it alone for a night. I needed to do this alone. Yes, the nurses were there if I needed them, but I needed to not need them. I also wanted to be alone with my son. My instinct told me to try something different with the way we’d be attempting feedings and bonding and wonders of wonders, it actually worked and I felt like a million bucks! I felt empowered. I felt like I just might be able to do this after all!
Here we are four months later and I have come a long way, as I’m sure all new moms can attest at this point in their journey, but I’m still learning to trust myself. Do you remember the first time you trusted your ‘mom’self instead of all the advice you were receiving from the Internet, experts, books, friends, and family?
Do as I Say, Not as I Did
I’ll end this story of how to not take advice with a piece of advice (where’s Alanis again?) For those new moms or about to be new moms out there – trust yourselves! Take some deep breathes and just act or react. You’ll be amazed at what you already know and what your body already can do.