A little while ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sara Kardan, co-owner of Her Majesty’s Pleasure, a new boutique salon in Toronto. Sara is also a new mother and after agreeing to do a feature for Josephine, we had a chance to chat about the trials and tribulations of motherhood in the modern world. Sara was pregnant throughout the process of opening a new business with her husband/partner Jeff, which meant that she was taking on the struggles of entrepreneurship and becoming a new mother all at once. When I asked how she was able to get through this, Sara talked about balance and the simple act of “drowning out the noise.” There is no such thing as perfection in parenting so tuning out all of that background noise that can often make you feel inadequate or cause you to question all of your choices is sometimes necessary to find your way.
We all know that silence is golden and when you have children, that silence is so rare that you learn to soak it up like the first few sips of coffee on a Monday morning. But what about the “noise” in your head, how do you silence that?
With such an influx of parenting advice available these days, it can be hard to find your own way. I’ve never really been one for trial and error; too afraid to make a mistake I guess, but with parenting it’s a bit of a necessary evil. Parenting books, baby prep classes, advice from friends and family can all be helpful, but let’s face it, nothing and no one prepares you for the beautiful mess that is becoming a new parent.
The “noise” in your head as a new parent is by far the loudest, and my son has a serious set of lungs. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s louder, the sound of a few minutes of crying, or the incessant noise in my head telling me that I’m doing something wrong because my son cries. After speaking with Sara, I began to think about this idea of “drowning out the noise;” of tuning out all of the outside influences that seem to dictate what parenting or motherhood should be and found that the easiest way to do this is to give yourself a chance to grow with and get to know your baby one-on-one.
Taking the time to grow with your little one can mean something so simple as taking a break from too many visits, parenting classes or programming and reading parenting books. Sometimes it’s nice to just listen to your baby and get to know them without the stress of outside “noise” or influence. This doesn’t mean you have to raise your baby in social isolation; in fact I strongly believe you need a good support system to raise a child, but taking the one-on-one time once in a while to figure things out on your own is so important. This is especially true during big stages like sleep or potty training. One-on-one time gives you a chance to figure things out on your own without too much outside noise. An overabundance of outside influence tends to pull you in every direction making it impossible to make any decisions at all. You begin to question every little choice you’re making, as the search for perfection is an impossible feat, leading you to believe that no choice is the right choice so you inevitably become frozen, unable to act or move forward.
So, as part of this letting go process I am learning to “drown out the noise” and let go of perfection. Advice is good, but sometimes silence truly is golden and on this journey through motherhood we all need a little quiet sometimes.
Photos courtesy of: Vanessa Falsetti, Danielle Diab and Heather Coughlin
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.