Read more posted in May, 2008
how could i forget?! this is a super option when it happens. even better when it is needed and happens!
sleeping baby = sleeping mummy = bliss!
this happened this arvo after LP and I came back from lunch with HH in town and it was gooooood!
hold baby = happy baby = get nothing done but enjoy your child
take baby out for walk = happy, sleeping baby = get exercise = no housework gets done but exercise is good
go out to see friends = hold baby = happy baby = entertained mother = no housework gets done but a nice day is had
don’t hold baby = sometimes happy baby/sleepy baby BUT other times sad/crying baby = baby unhappy and mummy doesn’t really get much done because she is too busy worrying about and trying to settle baby.
it seems pretty obvious when i write it down but doing the first three, particularly the last one does leave me feeling somewhat guilty about the amount the Happy Husband then does when he gets home from work.
The saying is surely true – many hands make light work!
That said, these are some of my newfound skills:
– breastfeeding and eating breakfast
– breastfeeding and typing!
– bringing in washing one-handed (i am yet to progress to being able to put it out one-handed)
Now, what I am sure you have all been waiting for…more pictures!
The thing about having a new baby is that people stop you in the street, in a cafe, in a bookshop – just all over the place, to admire, coo and comment on your gorgeous child. This is lovey. What is not lovely is the inevitable question which follows – ‘Is she a good baby?’ It’s not just strangers who ask this question though, it seems that it’s one of the first questions asked of a new mother and it’s beginning to make me uncomfortable.
At the risk of totally over-analysing an innocent question, last week I started to feel embarrased if the little precious cried for any period of time while we were around people. Ridiculous I know, but for some reason I started to feel responsible for this, like it was a reflection on my parenting. What was probably an innocent question started to take on a whole new meaning for me. And I didn’t like it!
As I’ve said previously our little darling is a reasonably settled baby (already I feel the need to ‘defend’ my precious girl) but she does cry. In fact she cried for about 4 hours last Thursay and nothing I did helped. I fed her, changed her, rocked her, walked her, put her down. Nada. In the end I just held her and let her cry figuring that at least she could get it out of her system in a loving embrace. Perhaps I just didn’t ‘get’ what she needed. Perhaps what she needed was just to cry. I will never know.
What I learnt from the experience, and please be kind to me as I bare my ‘new mother’ soul, is that this innocent question implies some really unhelpful things.
First, it implies that a baby is capable of being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and second, it implies that this behavious is a direct reflection on the parenting skills of the mother. Ok, perhaps it doesn’t imply that second bit but a new mum may find herself going down that path…as I did.
A ‘good’ baby presumably is one that eats and sleeps on cue and cries only with a gentle whimper when it needs something. A ‘bad’ baby is a nightmare for the new mum who struggles through long nights and frazzled days with a baby whose seeming sole purpose in life is to frustrate his or her parents.
A competent, capable, calm mother will result in a contented, happy, ‘good’ baby. A mum who’s not coping, is stressed, sleep deprived and overly cautious will have a whingy, unhappy, unsettled ‘bad’ baby.
All of a suddenly this innocent question leaves a new mother either feeling guilty and embarrased about their own parenting ability, and/or unsure how to answer without making her baby ‘look bad’. The rare mother might be left basking in the glory of a wonder child…but if you meet her let me know :)
For me, the answer to the question is of course, “Yes my baby is a wonderful baby. She is my baby. She is the best baby I could have…and she cries a bit.”
The ‘best’ thing about this past week – learning to be a Mum.
The ‘worst’ thing about this past week – learning about ‘Motherguilt’.
Over the past 4 weeks I have found that looking after the Little Gorgie has come quite naturally. I’ve changed nappies, fed her, cuddled her and watched her sleep. I’ve also falled in love with her so powerfully that the thought of losing her grips me with fear and sends me to my knees in prayer.
Now, over the past week I’ve started getting used to being her Mum. I’ve enjoyed experiencing that it’s not just about knowing what to do and how to do it, but about learning to respond to her cues and providing her with the emotional response as well as the physical. It’s about learning that she has cues and that together, mother and child, we can relate to one another. It’s been a wonderful time and I look forward to more weeks and months together as we keep figuring one another out. It’s also introduced me to ‘motherguilt’ which has been less fun, but I believe is also a normal part of parenting.
I’ve got more thoughts about motherguilt but they would turn this post into an essay so you will have to stay tuned for another post on that tomorrow. For now, let me leave you with a picture of our girl suggled up on the couch at the end of the week.