Thursday, June 12, 2008

Clueless

One of the hardest parts of this whole motherhood gig is this feeling of utter cluelessness. Yes, there are many days where I feel on top of things, like I know exactly what I'm doing, like D and I are this great team, and that things are fabulous.

Then there are days when I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.

I think this was one of my biggest surprises about parenting, too. I've worked with kids and babies for years. I've read a bazillion books. Sure, I knew there'd be a steep learning curve, but I figured I had a good background in babyhood and a decent knowledge base and that I'd be able to figure a lot of it out.

And then reality hit. And you realize that, you know that book that says to do X? Well, this other one says to do Y. And they both have avid success stories. Not to mention that they're mutually exclusive (Babies should eat and sleep on demand! No, they need schedules! Babies need to sleep in a crib in their own room! No, they need the security and attachment of the family bed! Let your baby "cry it out"! Letting baby cry it out will turn them into psychotic serial killers WHO HATE THEIR MOTHERS!). So which is it? And then you realize why there's a bazillion baby books, that it's because there's a bazillion ways for babies to behave. And so I laugh now when I read things about how "most babies do this..." and I have to wonder to myself, "Really? And what's the standard deviation on that? Because my baby sure isn't doing that, and I know of other babies that don't either..."

But then that still doesn't help you figure out what to do. So say you try doing X. Ok, and it works. Great! Was it b/c you did X, or was it random baby luck? Say X doesn't work. Was it b/c X isn't right for your child? Or maybe you didn't do it right, and if you'd done this one little thing differently then it all would've fallen into place? Or then again X is a load of crap and that's why it didn't work...

And I know I shouldn't listen to The Books. I'm trying to trust my instincts more and follow D's lead, however difficult each of those is to find. I'm sure I have and will continue to make all sorts of mistakes with D over time. But I'll revel in the statistics that say that it's not what specific things you do, but more the person you are that influences how your children will turn out. That, and both my parents and Zach's parents did a pretty darn good job raising their kids, and some of that has got to rub off on us, right?

3 comments:

  1. Does he still have all his figners and toes? Do he eat, poop, and sleep, at least once a day?

    He should be fine. Babies are made of sturdy stuff.

    The amount of research you do and information you've acquired astound me. You have got to be one of the most aware and informed parents I know, but you know to trust yourself and D over The Books. He's going to turn out just fine.

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  2. when my mom was here during the first 3 weeks, she said wow you are reading a LOT of books :) I said yeah, I want to make sure that I'm well informed of what to do - she chuckled.
    " I didn't read that many if any - you three turned out marvelous :P)"

    I have to say - I think it's great to read especially during pg and early days, I found also that following Audrey's need is the best guidance.
    I still read regarding food, vaccines, development toys+ activities, etc. But as long as she is happy and healthy - woot woot to us :)

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  3. Great post! You summed it up perfectly :-). I often think back to those first two weeks (the height of new parent cluelessness) and think, "I wouldn't want to do that again for anything!" The older she gets, the easier it gets, thank god!

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