This weekend, my husband, son and I went to watch the salmon run on the river in our town. It made me think about parenting (of course it did!) So bear with me, I'll get there!
We learned from our fellow viewers that the salmon were hatched in a part of the river right behind where we were standing. Once they hatch, they swim down the river and into the Great Lakes. Their lifespan is 7 years. For the majority of their lives, they're hanging out in the lake, and, when it's time to lay more eggs, they make the journey back to where they were born.
To do this, they swim UPSTREAM pushing against currents, bumping up against waves, and trying their hardest to jump over huge rocks.
Once they get to the other side, they lay their eggs and then die.
Sad, right? But also so incredible.
Why do they do this? How do they know where to go back to?
Since they don't have human brains that second guess those intuitive actions or choices, they just do it.
It made me feel a bit jealous to think of how pure the salmon's intuition was.
How many things do we intuitively know as mothers - and as parents? We KNOW our kids, we KNOW what feels right or doesn't... but then our silly human brains get in the way. We don't want to fuss, we don't want to create conflict, we don't want to become "that parent". We remember the FB meme, or the judgy comment the woman made at the park, or look we got from our child's teacher... and it makes us second guess what we KNOW we need to do for our children.
In an age where we are inundated with parenting information and parenting judgement, I want you remember: YOU GOT THIS.
Know, that you will gravitate towards ideas, people, and advice that fit well with what you already know to be true. And, also know, you will intuitively do everything in your power to help your children succeed.
So, the next time you start second guessing an intuitive feeling about one of your babies - remember the salmon. They didn't guess - they worked hard, they fought currents, and did what they needed to do to make their kids flourish... just like we do.