Sunday, April 23, 2006

Practical Parenting 101

As much as I crapped on about having a Crunchy Granola Birth Plan and had Grand Ideas about being the ultimate Earth Mother, reality, it seems, has other ideas.

Intellectually I knew that having a brand new baby would be all feeding, changing nappies, feeding, no sleep, crying (baby and me) sore nipples, feeding...ad nauseum. I knew this. I didnt have unrealistic expectations about how the baby would be perfect and just coo and go to sleep when I wanted him to. It was going to be hard work.

What I didnt know, what I couldn't prepare for, was how it would make me feel. There is no way you can possibly know how the endless screaming at the end of the day is going to make you feel about your baby, about yourself, about your abilities to cope and about whether this parenthood thing was a Good Idea. I couldnt prepare myself for how the endless feeding would make me feel like a machine rather than a person, and I couldnt prepare for the fact that such horrors as "For fucks sake kid, just bloody go to sleep" would actually come out of my mouth.

I also couldnt prepare for the fact that these baby things have tricksy and wiley ways. One minute I'd gladly leave him out for kerbside recycling and the next he gives me That Look and I'd kill anyone who said a word against him, and I'm locking the car doors in case anyone tries to steal him.

Its been the steepest learning curve of my life, without any time off to review what I've learned, subject matter that seems to change every day, and with no feedback from the teacher apart from wet nappies, screaming and heartbreakingly cute smiles.

I guess the biggest signifier of how I'm doing is that he's eating, pooing, weeing, farting, growing and interacting, and I feel more love for him than I ever thought possible.

6 comments:

  1. Not to mention you're still breathing and interacting. How cool is that?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yah... I've heard the milk factory comment from other of my friends... I have one who calls herself the talking boob. I can't pretend to say I know what it's like... but what you're saying DOES sound pretty much as though you are RIGHT ON TRACK!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been so neglectful about checking your site so just got all caught up.

    I'm so amazed by everything you have gone through to date - and you can still keep a sense of humor about it. Hang in there. I have no experience with any of this - yet - but it all sounds normal, all of the ups and downs.

    I wish you all the very best!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous12:02 pm

    Hey Panda! Congrats!! You do sound like a beautiful Earth Mother!

    My baby boy is now 9 weeks old, I know exactly where you are at the moment! But it does pass very soon. At about 6 - 8 weeks they start to 'wake up' so to speak. They sort of begin to work out what this life outside the womb is all about! Oscar looks around with such recognition now.. he is interacting and knows that if I dont come immediately to him when he grizzles that he hasnt been abandoned!

    I 'wear ' him all the time.. he is in his sling asleep now as I write this, and it does give them so much comfort to be near Mummy all the time!

    The dark first few weeks do pass, and soon you will just be in the swing of life as it suits you, your baby and your whole Family.

    Im a milk machine too, but the 1 hourly feeds are now 3 hourly, and he slept until 7am last night.. FIRST TIME EVER!!!

    Have fun!! The best thing to remember with little babies is that everything changes all the time.. dont worry about routine, just go with the flow, let your Earth Mother instincts dominate, and make sure you get some time to yourself, away from the urgency of need a newborn demands!!

    Felicity. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been so neglectful about checking your site so just got all caught up.

    I'm so amazed by everything you have gone through to date - and you can still keep a sense of humor about it. Hang in there. I have no experience with any of this - yet - but it all sounds normal, all of the ups and downs.

    I wish you all the very best!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not to mention you're still breathing and interacting. How cool is that?

    ReplyDelete

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