Now that I am somebody’s mom, I guess I am technically a mommy (hobby) blogger. However, I am certainly not qualified to tell you what to do with your child. I won’t tell you the top 5 baby products to have in your home or how to lull your little person to sleep. What I will tell you about is how I feel about being a new parent the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In fact, I probably won’t give advice to any new parent unless I am asked, because in my first 10 weeks of being motherhood I have discovered, there is too much information out there. I am not afraid to be honest and admit that the internet has demoralized me more as a mother than any crabby moment from little Bub. It has been my worst enemy.
Those of you that know me, or have read some of my past writing, probably know that I am a person that likes control. Type A, neat freak, rigid, organized . . . whatever you want to label it as. I knew becoming a parent would be the hardest thing I have ever done, so I tried to build my confidence during pregnancy as much as possible by reading and reading and reading. Books, blogs, message boards, iPhone apps, etc.
Once Bub came, the obsession didn’t stop. It grew. I thought I was being resourceful with my time during 12AM, 3AM, and 5AM feedings by Googling “why is my baby grunting” or “baby only sleeps on me.” I was also diligently tracking little man’s every move like a true helicopter parent, tracking each minute he slept and every diaper we changed (to be fair, this is really important in the beginning for breast fed babies . . . but after I was assured last week that this guy is the 93% of weight, I can probably lay off).
Constantly tracking each of his moves and Googling every question I had made me feel good at first. It was something very accountant like of me to do and it gave me a sense of control. In the business world, data = information = trends = conclusions. However, it has taken me 10 weeks of constantly measuring my baby against the world to realize it simply gave me anxiety and lead to unrealistic expectations for him and me. It made me feel like a failure and made me question whether my beautiful baby was broken.
Last week when I couldn’t sleep from 3AM – 6AM because I was stressed that my son wouldn’t nap longer than 30 minutes in his crib, I made a vow to stop my rampant Googling and tracking and just start going with my baby’s flow. I am going to try to be a better listener. I am going to try to do a better job at taking my cues from Bub versus letting the internet tell me what my baby’s schedule “should” look like at this age. I have decided to stop driving myself crazy reading and start reacting to what Bub decides he wants to do.
Basically, screw the books and the blogs. Every baby is an individual and I will treat mine as such. This means a lot more going with the flow for me, which is not my natural instinct. I would have loved if my little guy enjoyed the popular “E.A.S.Y” schedule. However, sometimes it works and sometimes he skips the sleep or the activity, and I almost never get the “you time” for more than 30 minutes. Right now I just have to realize he is unpredictable and he is in control.
Maybe someday I will gain some of that control back (new parent optimism I am sure) . . . but no sense driving myself crazy trying to find it now. I am just sorry it took me 10 weeks to figure this out. I am sad that for 10 weeks at home with the little guy, I brought myself more stress than necessary. I know I can’t have that time back. In just 2 incredibly short weeks, I head back to work and he will be on the baby sitter’s schedule no matter what. Because of that, Little Bub gets all the naps on me he wants. The crib will be waiting for him in a few more weeks.