You do, in fact, know just what you’re doing.
Motherhood is a science.
Yes, the act of carrying a newborn while holding your toddler’s hand while on the phone with your mother-in-law while at the grocery store and mentally crafting an email to your boss is an art—(and you do it gracefully, we might add).
But the actual act of mothering is deeply engrained in our brains and bodies. Our response to our children is primal, and the way care for them is innate.
In other words, you’ve so got this.
Whether you’ve been around kids your entire life, or your baby is the first one you’ve ever held, in your core you know exactly what you’re doing.
Parenting has always been hard, but there’s something particularly hard about becoming a parent now—we have so much information at our fingertips. And while generally speaking this is a good thing, it can also make being a parent very, very stressful.
How do we know which sleep training strategy to use (if any) when there are So. Many. Out. There?
How do we know how to get our child to eat more vegetables when every expert tells us something different?
How do we navigate a world of valuable, insightful research when our heads are spinning, and our bodies are just so tired?
We listen to our guts, and we follow our hearts.
You intuitively know what your child needs. Those are not just comforting words, it’s science.
The way you talk to your baby.
When you talk to your baby, do you instinctively use that sing-songy, Disney princess voice? What about raising your eyebrows and making big, I’m-so-in-love-with-you eyes when you look at her?
Researchers have found that the way we speak to our babies comes from our intuitive understanding of what they need to develop their language skills. And, the loving faces we make at them (also know as mirroring), has dramatic effects on their brain development as they grow.
The way you respond to your baby.
Does the sound of your baby crying instantly make your body tense? Do you find that you are usually the first person to get up and respond to your crying baby? Even if you don’t know why he’s crying, you feel instantly drawn to go an comfort him?
When mothers hear their babies crying, the part of their brain responsible for preparing the body to speak or move is activated—a phenomenon that exists only in mothers. This means that your baby’s distress triggers your body into action, before you even realize what’s happening.
And if you could easily sleep through your alarm clock blaring right next to your head, but the sound of your baby whimpering down the hall jolts you right out of bed, well that’s your mama brain responding to your baby too.
(P.S. this is true in adoptive mothers, as well).
The way you mom like a boss every day.
Are you the only one in your home that can find your child’s lost shoe? Did you put the keys in the freezer (again) last night, but still remembered to ask your child’s teacher how her cousin’s nephew’s Spider Man birthday party 5 weeks ago was?
Well, that’s science too.
Studies show that mammal mothers have better “object-in-place memory,” which basically means they are better at recognizing and remembering where things are. In nature, this means mama-animals are great at finding food for their little ones. In your house, it means your children will only ever ask YOU to help them find their... everything.
The thing is, mama, you are your child’s expert. And you need to trust yourself.
Absolutely ask your pediatrician for medical advice.
For sure listen when your mother shares valuable insights.
Reach for the latest parenting books when you have questions.
But also believe, really truly believe, just how powerful, smart, intuitive and simply amazing you are—just as you are, in your natural form.
You are fabulous. It’s science.