One of the first things you might notice about being pregnant and having children is that everyone has an opinion about something. Should you be eating that if you’re pregnant? Oh, you’re not eating that because you’re pregnant? I ate that and my kids were fine! It can be easy to feel like you’ve got on a decidedly unmerry-go-round that just doesn’t seem like it will stop. You’re having you’re baby at home? My friend would have died if she wasn’t in hospital. You’re having your baby in the hospital? You’re safer at home! There can be what feels like a million decisions to make, and the thought of working it all out can be overwhelming.

Stop. Take a breath. Take another. Mama, you’ve got this. Take it all one decision at a time. Trust your instincts.
Finding out information is important. Knowing your options is important. Hearing what has or hasn’t worked for other people can be helpful. But at the end of the day, this is your choice, your family, and your life, and the most important thing you can do is trust your instincts.
So much of parenting advice is missing this important factor. Trust your instincts. What works for one family doesn’t work for another, and research can only take us so far. But what works out time and time again, is trusting that deep, gut feeling that tells you true.
I’ve been there. I know this might not come naturally. It can be easy to let fear have a big voice (guilty of that one!). It can be easy to overanalyze every option and possible situation and still not feel secure in your decision (guilty again). It can be easy to read every study, paper, book, or blog in search of that magic bullet and wind up even more confused than before (yep, still guilty). It can be easy to go with what someone told you is best to do and believe you’re making the right choice, and still not feel like you’re making the right choice (so many times guilty).
Do the research, if it helps. Listen to what works for others, if it helps. Just don’t let these voices override you, and what your instincts are saying. Because, at the end of the day, we don’t have to be perfect parents. We only have to be good enough. Trying our hardest, but good enough. Trust yourself. Believe you are good enough.
Our situations are all different, and what our instincts direct us towards may all be different. We are so fortunate that we live in a time when, for the most part, society lets us choose how we parent. But there are too many voices, and that just makes us confused. So, trust yourself, and then find your tribe too. Find that loving community who will love and support you unconditionally while you navigate this rocky road, who will challenge you in the best ways, and help you to grow into your role as parent. But don’t waste time trying to defend your choices – trust yourself instead.

So much of parenting advice forces us into our head. The problem with relying on our heads, is we forget our heart and our instinct and we miss the forest for the trees. Sometimes we then swing the other way, and fly based on emotion. The problem with relying on our heart is that we can forget how to move forward, and get lost in the feelings, which can stir us any which way and take us in circles. Listen to your heart, assess in your head, but don’t forget to trust your instincts.

Pregnancy, birth and parenting throw us so many curve balls. They bring us to the end of ourselves in ways that we could not have predicted. But we can sail this crazy sea if we just trust ourselves. We’ve got this. You’ve got this. Trust.
© Anna Siebert and Anna Siebert Blog, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anna Siebert and Anna Siebert Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
About the author

Anna is a Motherhood Mentor, who works with busy mums to beat overwhelm, stop yelling and enjoy parenting. As a Childbirth Educator, Anna helps parents prepare for their birth to overcome fear, feel confident and come out the other side of birth positive and empowered. She is the founder of Calm in the Chaos, where mums learn how to feel calm, joyful and confident in modern parenting, and Preparing for Birth, where parents learn how to have a positive birth regardless of how their birth unfolds. Her mission is to take the fear out of birth and the overwhelm out of parenting. Anna runs live workshops, online courses and trainings, and is the author of Preparing for Birth.