Parenting by instinct

I have a confession to make: I haven’t read any books about what to do with toddlers. Maybe because I’m scared of what they say. Or maybe because I’ve decided that parenting by instinct feels more right to me.

I read a lot of books while I was pregnant. I studied Early Childhood Education at university (yes, it was a long time ago, but I still remember lots of fundamentals). I read lots books during the first year of Bubba’s life. But since then, aside from lots of online articles, I haven’t yet sat down to read a specific book that says to me: this is what your toddler should be doing.

She is healthy, growing, has a great appetite, and although she’s on the small side, I think (and so does our doctor) that is just her DNA. She’s probably going to be petite. Lately she’s gotten a little taller but lost a little weight. Her appetite hasn’t slowed though. How do we suppose I bottle that little trick and sell it to make squillions?

She is happy, caring and interactive. She is inclusive and loving. She is a good little girl who helps her mumma, picks up the dog’s bowls after they’ve eaten so they can be put away, tidies her toys away, goes to bed when asked to and sleeps well.

Sure, we have the odd day when she’s not so great. But hey, we all have those days. They’re far outnumbered by the great days, so I’m not worried.

I spend time with her at her level. A lot of it. We play with Bella and Beary. We read. We talk about colours. We count. We tell stories. We dance. We sing. We draw. We paint. We giggle. We walk. We talk about the world around us. We’re still. We move. We kiss and cuddle. We hold hands. We have fun. Lots of it.

And I am incredibly grateful that I don’t miss moments like these.

not missing these moments

Less and less am I to be found doing household jobs that I know should be getting done while she’s awake and in my company. I’ve got a more important thing to do: spend time with my Bubba. Before she grows up and I wonder where that time went and why we didn’t spend more time together.

Those jobs can wait. Or they don’t get done. And I’m now almost okay with that.

I have read a couple of things about toilet training, but she’s not shown me that she’s ready yet, so I’m not going to push it. That’s what my instinct tells me too: when she’s ready, she’ll let me know. Just like she has at every other developmental phase.

I wondered a few days ago at what age other kids dropped their middle of the day sleep. Then I pushed that thought aside. When she’s ready to go straight through (hopefully not for another year or so at least!) she’ll let me know.

Then I smiled. Because at the time I had that thought, we were all on my bed and she was having her middle of the day bottle. Which some other kids her age don’t have anymore. But that’s them. And she’s her. And while she winds down for her sleep laying on my bed with Bella and Beary, stroking my arm or with her legs entwined with mine, every fibre of my being says we’re doing everything right.

For us.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Bianca Dye says:

    Sigh…….

    BIANCA DYE Co-host *The Marty & Bianca Breakfast Show* i98FM

    biancadye@gmail.com twitter.com/biancadye Instagram ‘Biancadye’

    1. Lis says:

      Bianca, I sent you the link to this blog by email a few months back and I’m so glad you are enjoying it! Hope it helps you with any decisions you are yet to make πŸ™‚

      I’m currently 11 weeks into my pregnancy journey and whilst the all day nausea and exhaustion are taking their toll, I can’t wait to share these moments once my bubba is born. In the meantime, any books you recommend for pregnancy/newborn?

      1. Hey Lis, I had feel-like-I’m-hungover-and-there’s-nothing-I-can-do-about-it morning sickness for 8.5 months, so I feel your pain! Go see as many movies as you can. I miss going to the movies πŸ™‚ Jamie Oliver’s wife Jools wrote a book called Minus Nine to One and it’s fabulous. Not a what to do book, but still a great read. Kaz Cooke’s Up The Duff was my go to pregnancy book. I liked it because all of the important information is in there, but there’s also a good dose of Kaz Cooke humour. I read (although was frightened by!) The Contented Baby. The regimen in there was too much for me, but now that she’s almost two, I can tell you without question that a routine has been vital for Bubba. To this day she’s in bed by 7pm. She knows her cues for her day/downtime, etc. I may have missed out on a lot of social activities, but what I have is a very happy Bubba. x

  2. I love instinct. It’s worked perfectly for aeons – and I think there’s a reason for that! xo

  3. Janet Dubac says:

    Parents of today are overwhelmed with information–parenting books, classes, TV shows and etc that provide various viewpoints on discipline, education, nutrition and every other conceivable child rearing topic. Although I think these things are helpful at some point, I still believe that us parents should be comfortable with trusting our instincts when it comes to raising our kids.

    I believe my parents never had any of those parenting lessons and relied solely on their instincts, and I think I turned out just fine. πŸ™‚ And I am pretty sure using the same method with my own children will still work out well.

    Continue to enjoy every bit of being a mother. πŸ™‚

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