Organic Parenting: Following your instincts

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Who needs a paintbrush when you have feet?

What is organic parenting?

I would call my style of parenting “organic”. I don’t mean organic as in organic food and products, I mean parenting with your natural instincts. Parenting as if you had never read a single parenting book in your life. Raising a child the way you feel is right and sits well in your soul.

My style

I do believe strongly in most of the principles of attachment parenting but these were things I felt were “me” long before I even knew about the term “attachment parenting”. It’s not like I learnt about this style and set out to follow it. In fact I didn’t learn about attachment parenting until I actually had Miss A. I promote breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing and all that jazz because that is what feels natural to me. It’s not for everyone but it is for me.

Filter out the advice you get

When I had Miss A, I was definitely very confused with all the advice I was getting. Let your baby cry? Never let your baby cry? Don’t start rocking your baby or you’ll still be rocking him/her in college? They should be sleeping through the night by how old?

When the sleep deprivation haze cleared after a few months, I came to my senses and realised there is no right and wrong when it comes to parenting. There are so many conflicting opinions and research out there and there are always two sides of every coin. You just need to trust your gut and do what feels right (obviously not talking about anything outside the law here). There’s nothing wrong with researching and getting advice etc – it is very healthy to broaden your perspective- but you shouldn’t follow everything you read or hear blindly.

If you feel you’re going crazy and need to sleep train, go ahead. But if it feels unnatural for you to let your baby cry then don’t. Rock them if you want too. Or not. There are no set rules. Just because everyone does it doesn’t mean you should. They all sleep and eat and do everything they are meant to do eventually. You’re not going to “damage” your child by letting them climb into your bed every now and then. One of the best advice I was given in regards to parenting is “It’s not a problem unless it’s a problem for you”.

I love writing on parenting and sharing what works for me but I am definitely not telling you what you HAVE to do. I encourage you to raise your kids the way you feel is best and not conform to peer pressure. Smile and nod politely at relatives and friends if they are constantly giving you unwanted advice. Just take it in and filter out irrelevant advice. Keep in mind that most people only mean well and are trying to help you.

We are all born with instincts. Even if you feel you don’t have natural maternal instincts, you still have an in-built warning beacon. Feel your brow furrowing as you read something? Do you pause in hesitation when talking about something? Maybe your heart beats faster or you feel a small sense of weariness creeping up on you? Clearly something is not right even if your mother/great great auntie/cousin’s wife’s nephew’s friend is arguing that’s what “everyone does/is doing”. On the flip side, if you feel at peace and feel confident that what you’re doing the best for you and your family then do it your way and don’t change! You are your best judge.

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