This morning, I walked into Chris's office and said the following:
"I am going to put all our baby books away in a box and not look at them again until Gwen is three months old. They all contradict each other anyway and I am making myself crazy and after all we still have the internet if we have specific questions."
Chris said: "I support your decision!"
The Baby Whisperer in particular was the straw that broke my back. It makes such a strong point of starting its concepts from Day One, that all it did was make me feel guilty and miserable for letting over a month go by. And yet, millions of people have not read this book, and all of their babies sleep through the night eventually, so really? How ridiculous. I am starting to think that parenting books and women's magazines have a common goal, namely the perpetuation of fear and self-doubt. Thus? Into the box they go!
(Plus, I've noticed that a few weeks ago - before I did a sleep log, before I researched how much sleep Gwen 'should' be getting and how I should be facilitating that, before I had any expectations about how she 'should' respond when I followed the instructions from whatever book I was reading - I was wayyyyy more accepting and wayyyyy less frazzled. In other words, I still wasn't getting any sleep, but I didn't expect anything different, so it worked. It was hard, but I was functioning.)
New subject: Healthy Beginnings drop-in. I went to this group yesterday with my friend Tricia. Tricia deserves introduction as she will likely be mentioned here often. She was a friend of Chris's from his college days, someone I'd met a few times but didn't have much in common with. UNTIL the day we found out that she was pregnant and due a week after me. Then we had tons to talk about! We went to pre-natal yoga together, swapped maternity clothes back and forth, compared notes on whatever bizarre symptoms we were having. Thanks to Gwen being born 10 days early and Tricia's son Reilley being born a week late, they are actually almost 4 weeks apart, but we still have SO much to talk about.
Yesterday was my first time meeting Reilley, at 2 weeks old, and the four of us went to the Healthy Beginnings drop-in at the Health Unit. What a trip! We walked into the room to find it packed with strollers, and a large group of moms (no dads, sadly) and babies of various ages sitting in a circle and doing all the things that moms and babies do. It was so weird to see the same five activities I do all damn day... feeding/changing/soothing/burping/walking the baby ... being done by all these other moms. At any given time, five or six of them were doing each of these activities.
There were some familiar faces from our pre-natal classes and our pre-natal yoga, including Chai from this post. In contrast to last time I'd seen her, when by her own admission she was having quite a rough time, she was now completely comfortable and casual, having a breeze of a time and really enjoying her beautiful son Coen. Who is now four months old. It really gives me hope that the Three Month Legend is true (ie, that everything magically gets easier at that point!). Only six weeks to go until that mystical milestone is reached.
In the meantime, I really enjoyed getting out and meeting other women who are all experiencing the same things, sharing what was working and what wasn't, having a comfortable place to just hang out and do the same things I do every day but with a different set of four walls to stare at and also a lot of great company to chat with. Tricia and I agreed we'd be doing that on a regular basis.
I've already mentioned this to you, but the Baby Whisperer was the only book I read before Callum was born and I blame that book, and my need to follow it, for some of the trouble I had breastfeeding him. I'm all about putting the books in a box and doing your Mommy thing.
(the only other book I read was Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, when Callum was 3.5-4 mths old and THAT I recommend but not now. Later.)
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