Intuition has become a bit of a parenting buzzword. From the minute we hold our precious bundles in our arms, we’re told to listen to ourselves.
It’s good advice.
Problem is that’s often easier said than done.
As Amy Taylor-Kabbaz shares in this episode of her Happy Mama podcast: “When my daughter was born nine years ago, I didn’t think I had any parenting intuition at all. People would tell to me ‘listen’ to it but I wanted to scream back, 'I can’t hear it!'”
How do you connect with your intuition?
According Amy’s guest, registered psychologist and parenting expert Jodie Benveniste, the first step is connecting with yourself.
"We need to silence the noise and voices around us and connect to our own voices," says Jodie.
"Often well-meaning people around you, as well as the experts, as well as all the online stuff tell you things that are not always helpful. It can be really hard to find your centre in all of that."
Kinderling Conversation: Dad's mental health is more important than we thought
Let go of what you knew about life
Easier said than done, right?
But according to Jodie, our conflicting feelings are often the result of a disconnect between the demands of motherhood and our old lives, when we felt in control.
“Babyland is amazing, but really demanding. If you haven’t been around babies and the kind of care they need, it can be really hard to tune into that.”
“Children change every minute and at every stage. And we do need to make constant decisions and choices. Sometimes it’s very easy to look outside ourselves for a solution. Like, if you do A, B, C, it will lead to D. Problem is, parenting is as much art as it is a science.”
Own everything you feel, think, believe and do
Be honest with yourself about where you’re at. A psychologist by trade, Jodie says she thought she could bring the same head-based, analytical approach to parenting.
“This meant I was in no way prepared for how overwhelming and emotionally involved parenting was. I resisted the changes that the new role brought into my life and that created a lot of problems for me.
“I wasn’t ready to change and build the self-awareness, I just wanted to go back to being that in-control woman who knew who she was.”
Embrace the changes
As Jodie says, becoming a parent is a really big stopping point in our lives.
“You can’t keep going the way you were, you can’t have the same lifestyle. Friendships go and all sorts of stuff changes. It’s a forced stop and it’s also an opportunity for us to allow a new energy to come through,” she says.
For Jodie, this meant stepping back into a place of reflection and using her heart, rather than her head to respond to her children and the changes in her life.
“I deeply believe our children are here to help heal us. To help us become the person we were supposed to be, before all our experiences. By taking it on, we are also allowing and opening up the space for our children to become who they already are.”
And there's one amazing bonus: along with all these changes in ourselves, comes the realisation that nobody knows our child like we do.
So trust your intuition, mama - you've got this.
Matrescence: The transition to motherhood
This word changes everything, says Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.
Why the idea of the ‘Perfect Mother’ is failing mums
Shevonne Hunt lists the unrealistic ideas of the 'perfect parent' and explains their damage.
Decluttering queen and funny mum Anita Birges sorts out the mess of motherhood one pantry at a time
What does a professional declutterer think about the mess of modern family life?
Author and comedian Zoë Norton Lodge on motherhood, mates, and being bit extremely hard on the nipples
"Rufus has one deadly snaggle tooth. It’s the cutest thing in the world and also my nemesis."
Is it so wrong to cuddle my babies to sleep every night?
I cuddle my little loves to sleep every night. But is that so bad?
"I stopped lamenting the way my husband parents, and I'm so much happier"
Not everyone does things the same way!
6 things kids need to be shown by their parents
"As much as they are sponges, they are mirrors!"
Exhausted mum fell asleep on the floor. Her husband's response was perfect.
Here's to team work!