When you have a baby who is rarely happy or content, it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It can lead you to start questioning every decision you make, just in case it’s the reason your baby is inconsolable.
It’s easy to feel like you aren’t enough.
Sometimes you feel like you aren’t enough because you aren’t following the advice in the thick parenting book that’s collecting dust on your bookshelf.
Sometimes you feel like you aren’t enough because your baby won’t stop crying and no matter what you do, nothing works.
But as long as you’re trying the best you can in that moment, as long as you’re loving your baby and caring for him or her, then you are. You are enough and you’re not alone.
You’re not the only one who feels like you aren’t measuring up to the standards set by the people around you, and, more importantly, yourself.
We all feel like we aren’t enough. We all feel like there’s something else we should be doing to console our baby or that there’s another book we should read that will have all the answers.
Whether you breastfeed or formula feed
There is an immense amount of pressure to breastfeed your baby. The decision to supplement or switch entirely to formula can be a difficult and painful one for many moms.
We hear so often that “breast is best” and this can make moms feel guilt and shame when their breastfeeding relationship doesn’t work out with their baby.
Yes, breastfeeding should be promoted as the first-line choice for new parents. But whether you breastfeed, formula feed, or do a combination of the two, it’s up to YOU to make that decision. You are feeding your child and that is enough.
Whether you feel a bond or not
We’re told that we will immediately fall in love with our baby the moment that we lay eyes on him. We’re told that we’ll feel things that we have never felt before and that it will be instantaneous. We’re told to expect fireworks.
But, that is not always the case, and when it doesn’t happen it can make you feel like you’re a bad parent. It can make you feel like you don’t have enough love in your heart for your baby.
Not every parent immediately connects with their baby. Sometimes it’s because of a tough pregnancy or delivery, and sometimes it’s because your baby cries all day (and all night), and you haven’t had a chance to form any positive memories. And sometimes, it just happens.
It’s nothing you should be ashamed of. Some connections take time. Being there for your baby is enough, even if you don’t feel overwhelming love.
Even if you can’t stop your baby’s crying
Parents – especially moms – are made to feel like they should have all the answers. If their baby’s crying, they’re supposed to know why and how to fix it. But, as I’m sure you’ve discovered, it’s not always that easy; especially if have a high need baby.
If you’ve checked her diaper, tried to feed her, burped and bounced her and are still looking for the answer, then you’re trying and that’s enough. Sometimes there are no answers. Sometimes your baby will just cry.
Even if your friends and family tell you that you’re doing it all wrong
Most of the time your friends and family are just trying to be helpful when they give you advice about how to care for your baby. They don’t realize that they come off as hurtful or judgmental.
Sometimes they overstep and can make you feel like you’re making the wrong decisions.
But remember, this is YOUR baby.
You are responsible for making the final decisions on things, and you need to make the choices that are right for you and your family…not the choices that make your friends and family happy.
You do what you know is right for your baby, and that’s enough.
Even if you’re not doing everything by the books
There are so many parenting books out there. And it can seem like they all say something different about how to care for an infant – especially when it comes to sleep.
Some of them promote sleep training, while others say it will scar your child for life.
Some books advocate for bed-sharing, while others warn of all the potential risks.
YOU are the one who is there every night with your baby. YOU are the one who needs to make the choice on how you’re going to ideal with your child’s sleep.
If you research your options, then ultimately choose what works best for your child, you’re enough.
We want to give our babies all of ourselves, but sometimes it can feel like our “all” isn’t enough.
But even if your all isn’t as much as it was yesterday, or as your friend’s, or as you wish it was…it’s still enough.
Remember that no two parents are exactly like. Not every parenting style looks the same. Not every baby responds to the same thing, and not every person feels the same way. It’s okay to be different.
Just keep loving your baby and keep trying your best. If that’s all that you do today, that is enough.
Why are some babies fussier than others? How do I know there’s not something wrong with my child? When do high need babies get easier? If you’re looking for more answers and guidance regarding your high need or fussy child, you might be interested in my new ebook, The Fussy Baby Survival Guide.