I am that person who researches everything. I come by it honestly as this craving for information has been passed down from my Dad, who is the king of useless knowledge all research. You’ll be hard pressed to find either one of us without our phones or laptops nearby to look something up.
I look at restaurant menus before going out to eat. I map out the most efficient driving routes. I always have IMDB at the ready to look up that obscure actor’s name. I always need to know who, what, where, when, why…all the things! How did we all survive before the interwebs?
When I found out I was going to be a mom, that research gene kicked into overdrive. Best car seat. Best diapers. Proper feeding schedule. Safe sleeping habits. Developmental milestones.
Then C was born and he had other plans. I was now at his mercy and no amount of preparation could’ve prepared me for the realities of having a newborn.
At first, it caused a bit of anxiety and panic. I was in uncharted waters and felt like my ship was sinking…fast! But after a few weeks, I just started rolling with the punches. You know, trusting my instincts. All the research and information in the world can’t beat that gut feeling of knowing what is right or wrong.
When C was 6 months old, we decided to try sleep training. B and I were both exhausted and were sure he should be sleeping through the night at this point. That’s what everyone was telling us and we were beginning to feel like failures. He was still getting up multiple times a night to eat and wasn’t lasting a full night in his crib.
Well that lasted 2 horrible nights and after too many tears from both of us, I picked my baby up and rocked him to sleep. My gut was telling me that was wrong and I went with it. He just wanted his mama and I couldn’t bear seeing him so upset.
Here we are almost 6 months later and still in the same predicament. Is C sleeping through the night? No. Is he sleeping in his crib? Nope. Is he happy and healthy? Yes and yes!
Sometimes all the advice, all the books, all the experts and all the research in the world just doesn’t matter because each individual situation is unique. B and I both felt it was important for him to feel secure, even if that meant sacrificing our bed to a flailing infant who has sharing issues. Seriously, how does a tiny human take up so much space in a king-sized bed?!
If you would’ve asked me a year ago if I would be bed-sharing with my son, I would’ve given a quick “NO WAY” as my answer. My son was going to sleep through the night in his crib and that was how it was going to be. I love sleep too much (I really, really love sleep) to let him disrupt it. But when the moment came, my gut told me having him with us was the right thing to do and you know what? We’re all sleeping better because of it.
The more I rely on my instincts, the more confident I become in trusting them. What works for someone else might not be right for me and vice versa. This is true in all aspects of life – family, work, fitness, etc… We all know what is right for us, we just need to block out the noise and follow those feelings.
I haven’t given up my research obsession, let’s not get crazy now. Actually I’d say the opposite is true. Researching and collaborating with others actually helps me to make more informed decisions and find things that best align with my values and instincts.
We’re all different and that’s what makes us all uniquely amazing. You just need to trust those instincts to help guide you along the way…they’ll always point you in the right direction.