What’s the secret of good parenting…skill, luck or instinct?

So, with my grand total of seven weeks and four days’ experience of being a mum, I’ve discovered that being a good parent is a combination of three key elements. These include skill, a little bit of luck and most importantly the ability to follow your instincts.

The reason I think this is because firstly let’s look at something like breastfeeding. Now, if you’ve read my last blog you’ll know that I found breastfeeding surprisingly easy. I’d like to say this is because of the breastfeeding workshop Stu and I did when I was pregnant and that I have read through the MANY leaflets about “good breastfeeding” given to me from the health visitor… I’d like to say this, but that would be a lie. In reality I can’t remember anything from the workshop because I wasn’t really listening as I was too busy on Instagram and I haven’t read a single leaflet. I’m actually just very lucky that I’ve got freakishly big nipples (tmi) and Sienna is a greedy little thing.

Conversely, I recently found out that one of my friends really struggled to feed her baby and that they would cry sometimes six hours straight! My friend wasn’t a bad mum, she was just really unlucky that her baby had a cow’s milk allergy- thankfully now they know this her baby feeds ALOT better and cries nowhere near as much.

However, despite knowing this, as a new mum the urge to feel guilty and compare your ability as a good parent is still strong.

This has been a big thing for me recently because I’m not sure if it’s due to lockdown or because all our friends are in, let’s say “active” relationships, but there has been a big baby boom in our social group. And while this amazing for sharing tips, stories and of course all the maternity leave coffee dates, you can’t help but compare your baby to others. Is it bad my baby is sick and theirs isn’t? Are they a better mum because they have a routine? Is my baby not happy because she cried when we met up and theirs didn’t?

Logically, I know these questions are silly! And while I know all my friends are very clever parents with a great amount of skilled parenting knowledge, I’m sure they too have their own struggles with their babies and maybe have even compared themselves in the past.

So, with this in mind, I think the most important secret to being a good parent is instinct. When I follow my instinct, I know I’m doing right by Sienna. I can (and will) listen to all the advice, try and read the useful books…but at the end of the day Sienna and I have had the bestest bond since the moment I saw those two lines on my pregnancy test and I know what is best for her thanks to my mummy instinct. I hope that’s right anyway, either that or Sienna will be reading this in 30 years mad at me for not reading more books!

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