Parenting instinct? What instinct?

Everyone (men and women) gave me all sorts of advice when I was pregnant with my son – most of which was helpful and I enjoyed going away to do further research. However, a piece of advice that was wholly unhelpful (to me anyway) was the phrase “trust your instinct”…always said in the same dulcet tone, but perhaps I’m just gullible.

For the first 6 months of my son’s life and I can honestly say that I didn’t know what I was doing 75% of the time (which I know sounds worrying, but you will be relieved to hear that 11 months down the line it has been reduced to an applause-worthy 5-10% – so pleased! and we have so much fun together). There were so many times in the middle of the night (or day) when I expected my innate ‘instinct’ to kick in, which I’d been assured would provide a solution to the current calamitous situation…but what happens when your instinct doesn’t kick in? Nothing… and you are left to rely on your mere mortal mind. Or worse you start worrying because 75% of the time you don’t know what you’re doing, 20% you have an inkling and the remaining 5% of the time your instinct is one you’re not proud of. But I have always wanted children? Maybe I was just not born to be a mother?

I have asked myself these questions so many times. It is not until I’ve asked countless mother’s the direct question: “Do you actually know what you’re doing?”, that all of them have agreed that it is a guessing game a lot of the time. I wish someone had said to me: “Do not worry if you have no idea what you’re doing”…but it’s probably not the most reassuring phrase to say to an expectant first time mother.

Since having my son, I have taken it upon myself to share my two pearls of wisdom with any expectant first time mother that I’m close enough to (and therefore won’t think I’m strange):

1. It is so much harder than you think (and I didn’t expect it to be easy).

2. Do not worry if you have no idea what you’re doing (most of the time)…but it does get much, much better and your confidence grows.

Harsh I know…but I do try to be a realist, as well as an optimist.

I will be eternally jealous of all the women that have this innate instinct that attends in their hour of need. I disregarded this phrase long ago and since then my life has been much more enjoyable!

…Don’t get me started on the phrase “enjoy every moment”. I have tried and failed miserably! So I’ve disregarded this one too.

E xx

p.s. I realise there is a distinct lack of pictures recently! The camera was charging and The W pulled it off and it’s now at the repair shop (entirely my fault). Will be back on Friday.

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