With constant access to a never ending stream of information, it has never been so easy to get caught up in a world ‘googling’ all of life’s answers. But how far should we go in trusting all that we read and hear at the expense of listening to ourselves, to our hearts, to our own bodies and to our instinct.
This week I had a timely reminder about the importance of relying on that ‘feeling’ that something wasn’t right. On walking to the football with my dad, my brother and I were concerned about the breathlessness my dad was feeling. This wasn’t the first time and despite having been to the doctor the previous week, having had it investigated and having been told it could be a virus or maybe a touch of asthma he had been sent home. As I watched my dad throughout that football match, something wasn’t quite right. As our team was losing I was concerned that he may start getting frustrated and stressed. But he wasn’t. That was the biggest telltale sign. (Yes footy is pretty big in our household). When we returned home my brother insisted to my mum that he go to hospital. Whilst dads feeble attempts to convince us that the doctors had said he was fine were drowned out by our insistence, he was whisked away to emergency. On investigation he had an artery that was 90% blocked, requiring 2 stents. A lifesaving operation…and an incredible sigh of relief.
We are so lucky to have so much access to information and support networks via the advancements in technology, but we must remember that we also have access to the greatest source of information…ourselves.
As we parent in these modern times we are plied with so many instructions, so much advice, so many ‘how to’s’ and ‘how not to’s’ and we are privy to so many comparisons that it can often be a little overwhelming. We are told why our baby is crying and how to fix it, what they should be watching, and how they should be spending their every waking moment. This in turn can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy and even leaves us making decisions that don’t feel right or work well within the circumstances of our particular situation. When we have a new baby the amount of information is mind boggling and the number of products we simply must have to parent effectively, can be seen to be out of control. Some advice is helpful, timely, warranted and even essential. Some products are equally effective, helpful and do make life easier. And certainly the support that many parents gain from access to so much information has proven to provide wonderful resources and online communities and networks. But what is true, relevant, helpful or necessary for one person is not going to be so for every individual or family.
So lets not forget to take what we need from other sources but trust in ourselves to make the final judgement. When it comes to our children and ourselves we must remember to rely on doing what feels right, what works for us and what is a good fit for ourselves and our family.
Do you ever go against popular or expert opinion in order to make a decision based on gut feeling or instinct?