Parenting does not come with a manual. No matter how many classes you go to, no matter how many novels and learned books are written by the most experienced or educated humans on the planet. Those books and classes are guides and theories on how to do it. At some point, all you will have, all you will be able to do is to trust your parenting instinct.

That’s it. That’s all you will be able to do.

You can learn anything they teach you. You really can. If you were to really study parenting from the lessons, lectures, books, movies, podcasts, and any other way you want to learn, well you’d probably ace it.

But actually parenting YOUR child, this beautiful, infuriating little being that you created, moulded, shaped, fed, loved and care for … well that’s a whole different thing.

But studying something, and living it, are two different things!

Mums Are Superheros

Today I called my mom, who lives on another continent and cried to her about my child.

I cried to her about how I don’t know what I’m doing. About how, I don’t know how to do it. And about how I’m doing it all wrong. “F*cking it all up” is the term I think I used.

And you see, she parented me in the way that I needed. In the way that only she can parent me. Which is completely different to how she parents my sister. That’s because my sister and I are completely different human beings, with completely different needs.

And it doesn’t matter if I am 37, or if my child is 8. That makes no difference really. As parents, as mothers, this whole parenting malarky … it’s all unique uncharted territory. Even 8 years in. Even 37 years in. 

The way we parent, and the way we need parenting is always unique, different and individual. Because every human on the planet is unique, different and individual.

The only thing we can ever really rely on … is our parenting instincts.

Our Mumstincts …

That feeling, that parenting instinct that a mother has about their child. That instinct where you just know when your child needs you. When you know that they had a bad day. When you know that it’s okay to let them go and try.

It’s a real thing

My mum lives in Zimbabwe, and I live in the UK. She swears she can tell when I need her, just by a one line Whatsapp message. Even if I sent that message 12 hours before and due to the power cut, or poor phone signal, she only gets it later. She can tell what kind of mood I’m in, or if something is bothering me.

My husband has often ‘joked’ about how they never cut the umbilical cord between my mom and I correctly when I was born. But now I know. It never is.

Because it’s the same with my daughters.

I can tell by her face when she is 15 meters away from me, coming out of her classroom door, before she’s even said a word to me. I can tell that something happened, or that she’s upset, or that she’s p*ssed off.

I can tell from the way she walks towards me with her head down and her shoulders slumped that sh has probably been told off, or is feeling left out, or needs a cuddle.

That’s my mumstinct – my parenting superpower.

When To Push & When To Pull

I read something by a friend of mine, who is also a parenting coach, about how sometimes she can tell when her daughter needs a little encouragement to cry. She called it a scheduled meltdown. I get it. Call it ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ … sometimes a mother knows when it’s time to place that straw on the camel’s back, to force their child over the edge, so that they can release their angst.

This is a mumstinct. Who else would even think to push your child to the point of crying, without doing it from a place of love, and to be there to pick up the pieces. If anyone else did that, it would just be cruel.

So today I will be trusting myself, trusting my maternal instincts when it comes to my children. I will stop doubting myself, and I will do my parenting job the way that I know is best for them. And that’s all any of us can really do.

And before you all get riled up, please … I’m not taking anything away from dad’s. If you are a dad reading this, and you have a dadsctinct, please write about it and send it to me so I can read about your perspective on this. I can only write from my perspective as a mum.

Believe In Yourself

That’s all any of us can really do. When you doubt yourself, by all means, go and seek advice or help. Learn the methods, get the training. But when it comes down to parenting your child, I think the best thing we can do is to believe in yourself and trust your mumstincts.

Trust Your Mumstinct

Please share this post with your friends on facebook, twitter, email, whatever. We all need a little reminder sometimes that we do have this, we do know what’s best for our kids, and we can believe in ourselves.


2020-12-17T19:32:09+00:00September 4th, 2019|Parenting|20 Comments

About the Author:

Mom of two little girls and a bonus mum of a teen. On a quest to survive parenting two strong-willed daughters in a modern world, and getting the balance right. I am a perfectly Imperfect parent who shares the highs and lows of parenting. As a family, we love to travel and experience days out with the kids.

20 Comments

  1. Jacqui Bester 4th September 2019 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Love this! Well done friend.

  2. tescokids 4th September 2019 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Wonderful articl written with so much emotion. You are a good mom and never doubt yourself… ever x

  3. Emma 4th September 2019 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Lovely article. Reminds me that I should learn to trust my mumstinct more!

  4. Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS) 5th September 2019 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Sometimes the burden of responsibility for being a mum can be overwhelming can’t it? I love that expression about needing a village to raise a child, it helps me when I feel I’m not doing a great job, to know I’m not alone in the venture of creating new human beings. Xx

    • momoftwolittlegirls 5th September 2019 at 11:53 am - Reply

      Yes, that’s true. The burden is great.

    • Nicole - Tales from Mamaville 12th September 2019 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      I love this post Carly. So true and so raw, but you’ve hit the nail on the head. Parenting is tough, and there’s no manual for it, but nothing is more important than ‘mumstinct’ in raising a child.
      Great post. #itsok

  5. Alex Newton 5th September 2019 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Such a lovely post. Being a parent to a toddler and a teenager, I feel out of my depth regularly. I’m always thinking I could have handled situations differently. Sometimes it just helps to know you’re not the only one.
    #DreamTeam

  6. crummymummy1 9th September 2019 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this! Interesting points raised! #DreamTeam

  7. Heather Keet 10th September 2019 at 5:09 am - Reply

    Instincts are a real thing and it sounds like parents have a keen sense of what their kids need most of the time. Definitely have to listen to that inner voice! #DreamTeam

  8. Rose Tinted Ramblings 11th September 2019 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    great article. I love your observations about your own mum too. #dreamteam

  9. twicemicrowavedtea 12th September 2019 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    I loved reading this, and I have a similar relationship with my mam. Even if I don’t give any outward signs that something is bothering me, somehow, she just knows! I feel really lucky to have that kind of bond with her, and I hope I have the same kind of bond with my children too. #itsok

  10. Tracey Carr 17th September 2019 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. That gut instinct as a mum is something that I always try to listen to. I think it is the one constant in parenting. There are so many times when you don’t have a clue what you are doing as a parent but instinct is rarely wrong. There have been times when I haven’t listened to it and then regretted it but I always do my best. And yes I am the very same as you Carly, I still go to my mum today whenever something is bothering me and she always knows what to say to make me feel better! I hope that my own daughters will always do the same with me #itsok

  11. crummymummy1 18th September 2019 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I always say that even if you’re new to parenting YOU still know what’s best for your child – definitely trust your instincts! #itsok

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.