“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” Steve Jobs
As a new mother, it’s hard for me to ignore other people’s opinions. Isn’t almost everyone who’s had a kid more qualified to take care of Daniel than me? Well, no. But that’s how it feels sometimes. So on our recent trip to Mexico when people would tell me, “Julia (hoo-li-a), he’s hungry,” or “Julia, he’s tired,” or “Julia, he’s cold,” it was hard to hear my inner voice. With parenting, and with other things, even when I hear my intuition, it’s hard to trust.
In this instance, others’ opinions play into fears I have about my adequacy as a mother. How could I know better when I’ve only been a parent for four months? But time and again, I find I do know better. I try what someone else has told me, he keeps screaming. Then I try what I thought to do and he calms down. Not every time, but often.
With each success, I trust my instincts a little more. True, I’ve only been a mother for four months, but I’ve spent infinitely more time with him than anyone who’s handing me advice. As my friend’s mom (who had fifteen children) likes to say, “Every child is different, so study your child.” I’m no baby expert, but I know my son pretty well. One thing I can say about him with confidence is that when I guess wrong about what he needs, he tells me. As anyone who was in the Atlanta airport on Tuesday evening can attest, he is a very effective communicator.
Is there an area of your life where you find it hard to trust your instincts? Why?