“Can screaming too much damage your baby’s throat?” - words I typed into Google at 3am using one hand while I bounced my writhing newborn on my shoulder with my other hand. My fingers instinctively knew how to find the search engine on my phone in the dim light of my dining room. Man, for those first 2 years, I think I googled the words “what”, “baby” and “normal” so many times that I will never stop getting ads for infant milestone trackers! In the years since then, I have learned that my experience is far from unique. Incessant posting on Facebook mom-groups, late night googling and having an Amazon cart full of parenting books is a pretty common occurrence for new moms. (And even seasoned moms facing new challenges!) These semi-obsessive behaviours all have the same act at their core - you are outsourcing your wisdom. You do not believe that you have the knowledge or insight necessary to do the “right” thing. Getting to the root - you don’t believe that you can be trusted.
Flying 5 Year Old Wisdom
Yesterday I was at the park with my kids. I watched my 5 year old race towards the swing set and throw her abdomen on the rubber seat as she “flew” superman style into the air, her blonde hair floating around her head as the swing pulled her backwards. She smiled and closed her eyes as she tried out all of these new uses for the swing. I snapped a photo. It was just another day at the park for her, but it was a profound moment for me. The simple expression of joy from exploration and discovery caused me to remember. I remembered what it was like to be alone with my intuition. I remembered what it was like to experiment without excessive anxiety over the consequences. I remembered who I was before I stopped believing I had something to offer.
Have You Forgotten Your Wisdom?
Unfortunately, I didn’t have vivid memories of actual moments where those things were true for me. (I imagine I lost that sense before I was able to form that kind of explicit memory.) But, when I saw her face, my heart remembered. I have seen photos of my carefree little self. I have watched home videos showcasing a little blonde haired girl with big eyes singing songs she had written and squealing with delight. A little girl that looked remarkably similar to my own daughter flying freely on the swing with her wild hair. I realized that the little girl in those home videos is still here. The one who doesn’t yet know that there is a “wrong” way to use the swing. I realized that it was meeting her again - giving her a voice - that had truly made the difference in my parenting.
That little me, she is intuitive. She doesn’t doubt for a moment that she can figure things out. She hasn’t yet heard that she will lose acceptance amongst her peers for doing things in an unconventional way. She hasn’t had to develop protective instincts out of fear. Instincts to push down her ideas and ignore her feelings because they aren't the "right" ones. She knows when to ask for some help - not from a place of defeat, but of support. Asking “Hey, can you lift me up so I can grab the craft box off the shelf?” instead of fearing that she might use those craft supplies in the “wrong way”. When I rediscovered her, I tuned out the noise of the voices around me and trusted that there were answers inside that would serve me better than anything anyone else could offer. She could be trusted. I could be trusted. Everytime I tried to follow someone else’s strategies or advice, things would go sideways. Even if it *did* “work” the way they said it would, it never stuck. The real support I needed wasn’t a “how-to” script, or a new science backed strategy. It was to reconnect with the intuitive little girl I once was who made up her own methods.
Your weird and that's good.
And guess what… with the support of some amazing people in my life, I did. And everything changed. I have found new, “weird” ways of parenting that you probably won’t find in a parenting book.
I breastfeed my 5 year old; my kids don’t have a chore chart ( they often don’t even fall asleep before 9pm). AND - it’s the happiest we have ever been. I want you to find that happiness too.
When I coach moms, I don’t offer them a solution. I don’t try to replicate my parenting in their home.
Instead, I support them in meeting their wisdom and discovering the power of their own voice. I help them believe that they really do have something to offer. I trust that THEY are the ones who know themselves and their family best so that they can trust themselves too.
And it is such a joy to witness.
A past client of mine, Stephie, humbled me with this google review:
"Jenna is such a light! She provides sincere support and at the same time guides you in major catalysts to shift your way of seeing and being. I will be forever grateful for her ability to support me in unraveling old belief systems. The amount of freedom and self acceptance I now have is priceless."
If you want some support in finding freedom in your parenting, I’m here.
I can't wait to see what wisdom is inside of you!