Self-Confidence Was Born With My Daughter

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning from children

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared the many lessons their children have taught them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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It took having a baby to realize that my self-esteem issue was fabricated and instilled within me rather than something I was born with.  My daughter would cry out with such urgency the first few nights she was out of my uterus because she knew that if she cried it would be answered.  My daughter taught me how to become a confident mother because I let her.  I let her by listening, watching, and just being without judgment, without bias, without experience.

Sleeping J

I didn’t read a lot on caring for a newborn besides the basics of how to bathe them, how to diaper them, and how to feed them.  I believed that we all have natural instincts and we can learn how to parent the way our child needs if we are open to it.

After a few days of disarray I started to understand the grimaces, winces and squeaks that my daughter used as cues for when she was getting hungry.  I learned the grunt that meant she was uncomfortable or needed a new diaper.  I started to understand that my daughter had enough confidence in herself to tell me what she needed and when I got it “right” my confidence in myself built by leaps and bounds.

J sleeping on mama

So often I hear mothers talking about being manipulated by their infants and that they don’t want to “give in” to the cry or a “bad behavior”.  But, when you give in to your child’s needs, when you give in to what you feel is right rather than what you’ve been told is right that’s how you build your parenting confidence.  There is never a right or wrong way to do things when it comes to parenting because it’s ever evolving over time and the growth of your child(ren).

My daughter taught me to be a confident woman because that’s what she needed.  I became the perfect mother for my daughter because she still loved me even if I didn’t get it “right” the first time (or two).  She taught me about who I am instead of who I thought I was.  I am comfort, I am nourishment, I am shelter, I am home, I am peace, above all – I am mama.  And no one can replace me or my confidence in my new role.  I thank my daughter for the changes she caused within me to become who I am today, her perfectly imperfect mama.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 11 with all the carnival links.)

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Self-Confidence Was Born With My Daughter

  1. thanks for such a lovely read. Your words and images bought a smile to my face. I loved “I became the perfect mother for my daughter because she still loved me even if I didn’t get it “right” the first time” – that’s just so beautiful 🙂

  2. love, love LOVE this and am suppressing the urge to send a link to every mother i know who has lamented the hard time she’s having, forcing her baby to cry it out. it’s so true that babies (and most people, albeit in a less direct way) will TELL you what they need — it’s just up to us to respond appropriately! great post.

  3. Amy

    This is so beautiful to read! I agree wholeheartedly that “giving in” to our babies’ cries isn’t indulging them or promoting bad behavior–it’s teaching them that they can trust us to help them when they ask for it. I, too, feel blessed to have a child who is teaching me how to be the best mother for him. Great post!

  4. What a lovely sentiment – that you are learning to love yourself, complete with imperfections – because your daughter loved and trusted you first. I agree that listening to our instincts is so important in helping us grow as parents. It’s great to have a solid working knowledge of babies, but ultimately we have to figure things out by listening to our little ones.

  5. That is so true. It’s amazing how you can respond if you listen to your instincts and really listen to and watch your children to learn their needs. I love that it’s given you confidence in yourself to respond like that to your little one. Beautiful post!

  6. I feel like our parenting styles really mesh. I didn’t want to read the books either. I didn’t do what people told me was right either because that wasn’t what Little Man needed from me. I’m proud to be a part of this new parenting philosophy to listen to my child and my heart and to trust us both to do what is right for us.

  7. What a beautiful post! I love the sentiment behind it and I felt the same way with my daughters: that I would instinctively know what to do to meet their needs. I know something like cio would have gone completely against my instincts.

  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. I am, sometimes unfortunately, a huge researcher and I read tons before my twins were born. In many ways I’m glad I did, because my pregnancy was high risk and I had trouble breastfeeding so I’m glad I had read about it first. However, I remember going to see an old friend from high school and she said to me “I’ve never read a parenting book, throw them all out the window”. I thought, yeah, I don’t need them, I just know what to do. Of course I didn’t but I take what works for me and leave the rest…and they’re all sorta crunchy books like “Playful Parenting” and “Siblings without Rivalry”.

    • Sorry that I didn’t approve this sooner but it went into my spam!

      I’m a huge researcher, too, but for some reason I kind of avoided being “tainted” by books for the newborn stage. Now that my daughter’s a toddler I have been reading a lot more once again. “Playful Parneting” and “Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves” are both my next to-buy-and-read-FAST books 🙂

      I’ll keep the other one on my to-read list to save for once we plan for #2, thanks!

  9. indiasroses

    What a beautiful relationship you have built with your daughter. This was such a valuable post for me to read before my baby girl gets here(any day now). I already believed in responding to your child’s needs to build a secure relationship, but I never thought of how responding to her will make me grow as a Mother and as a Woman. Thank you

    http://indiasroses.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/parenting-by-nature/

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