It's not easy to find your inner voice, let alone trust it, in the early days of parenthood. Newborn cries, hours of sleeplessness, well-meaning advice from family, unsolicited words from strangers at the store; all these conspire with the magnitude of caring for your baby when he is at his most vulnerable.
The pull of blogs, books, and experts who can give you a manual and tell you what steps to follow to be the best parent is hard to resist. And if you're up anyway at 3:00am, it's easy to start googling developmental milestones and parenting practices, second-guessing what your instincts are telling you.
In Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott (one my very favorite authors) wrote: "You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn't nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true.”
That's the thing. If I heard new moms saying that they had found some peace and calm in their internet searches, I'd say, "Fine! Go for it!" But most often, fear, inadequacy, and anxiety drive this search for answers and simply multiply, leading to more sleeplessness, worry, and isolation.
So, what can you do? How do you make space for your intuition? It certainly seems easier when we're on vacation on a peaceful lake in the middle of nowhere, but how do we cultivate that same space in our regular day-to-day lives? I'll share more thoughts tomorrow!