7.25.2008

You Can't Judge a Book by It's Cover...or Can You?

So in the few short weeks we have been parents, I have found a new frustration. I don't know if all parents, or mothers specifically, have this frustration, but I don't see it can be avoided.
Being a first time parent for anyone can be stressful enough with just being pregnant and all that it entails, add on to that having to buy every gadget ever made for baby, or at least that you think you need but probably don't, and it is a wonder people even have babies. Even more stressful, and more important (outside of buying the cutest clothes ever made) is how you will parent that little baby. Granted things like discipline are not needed at this young age, but how on earth will you schedule your baby's day, or will you schedule it at all? I guess it depends on what book you read, what your Doctor tells you, how your Mother thinks you should do it, or how the wind blows. Whatever method you go with, I say congratulations, because I don't know how you decided. I thought we would go one way, but after trying it for a few days I realized it just made me feel like I was inadequate and stressed me out too much. Not too mention it made me feel like I was missing out a little bit on baby time - you know, the sit on the couch while you watch Law and Order and the little one sleeps ever so soundly (or ever so grunty like ours does) on your chest.
It seems that everyone and their dog has a "theory" on how you should parent a newborn, but does anyone take into consideration the personalities of these little newborns? I'm sorry but my little one does not take 4 or 5 naps a day that last up to 2 hours. I am lucky if I can get her to sleep 45 minutes in the afternoon...unless I want to spend every nap time with her sleeping on me, then I think she might tend to sleep all day. I would love it if she slept 9 hours a night, but right now we get up to 6 hours in a row, a 40 minute interruption and then another 2-3 hours. I think that's pretty good, but according to some, if it's not a straight 9 hours we are doing something wrong.
As my Dad mentioned numerous times while they were here when T was born, they never had all of these books, or theories or rules to newborn care. Heck, they didn't even have car seats!! Sleeping on their back? Never, tummies were the best sleep position.
Sure times change and thankfully technology, science, medicine and knowledge have enlightened us in some areas, and mostly for the good. I am all for what will help babies, but for any parent who reads all of these books and opinions... it seems like confusion, stress and maybe a little self-doubt are the only things you will get from them!
I've found a few nuggets of wisdom that we like and want to make into our routine, but I think some "experts" seem to overlook that gut feeling about what a parent feels is right for them and their baby. If your baby only naps for 45 minutes at a time, but is happy and healthy... I guess you just have to become super efficient at getting things done with minimal time!
Who knows, maybe we will end up scarring T because she isn't sleeping for 10 hours at night when she is 8 weeks old, or maybe she will be cold, distant and hate us because we didn't cuddle with her enough... given who her father is, I think there is a good enough chance of that anyway, right? Just kidding Mark! Sort of. No really.
Anyway, maybe some more "seasoned" parents out there have different opinions on baby matters and theories that they swear up and down by, but I just don't know if I want to even try reading what any more "experts" have to say. I'll just go with the flow, try to get our own routine down and hope little T has a little bit of fun with Mom every day!

7 comments:

Colby said...

:) I say, enjoy every minute of your time with your darling T... which ever way YOU want!

You are right, everyone has an opinion... just like every baby has their own personality. To me all those theories contradicted each other anyway.. so whatever direction you decide to go (when you get sick of her sleeping on YOU all day).. just be consistent. Pick one that suits your personality and go for it. Some techniques are a bit more cruel, in my opinion, and others make you feel like a failure if you don't do it just the way they say.

Jack may not be on a concrete schedule, but we have figured out what works for us. Basically, I watch for signals from him to know when he is tired or hungry.. instead of forcing him into a schedule that the books say. I like the flexibility personally. Some may disagree.. and this philosophy may morph if #2 comes along... it can't be a free-for-all for all three of us! But until then, I will continue to treasure every minute with my little buddy.

Good luck! Mother instincts kick in and you are able to read the signals from T.. she'll let you know what she needs, and when. Good luck!

Colby said...

Um, sorry... Colby must be signed in to his gmail... :) It's really me, Mindi.

Trisha Martin said...

I agree with Mindi. If you're stressed about not doing everything "by the book", T will feel your stress. Do what works for the both of you. This is such a small window of time. Enjoy every minute of it. Before you know it she'll be a mouthy teenager:). Savor every moment you can. Parenting is such a learning experience and none of us will ever get it 100% right. I say...stop reading the "parenting" books...read a good Grisham or something and relax.

Kara said...

Who has time to read a book? Just enjoy the time that you have with her!

Shelly said...

I have found that the pick and choose theory works for me. I read books, take what I like, and ditch what I don't like. Thus, my parenting is a lovely schmorgousborg (sp?) of theories all jumbled up into parenting potpurri. Some days I feel like nice playful mommy, and others I want to sell the kids to the gypsies because they are bugging the heck out of me and I'm mean nasty mommy.
I say, if it's working for you keep it, and if it's not toss it.
Oh, and little side note. We have used the same "method" for teaching our kids to sleep with all three kids, and each one has ended up with a different result. Audrey slept soundly through the night,8pm-8am, by 6 weeks old and slept like the dead. Marissa began sleeping 9 hours a night at about 8 weeks old, and woke up religiously for a 5am feeding until she was 7 months old. Trent is just all over the place still. Who knows when that kid will wake up next. Sometimes he sleeps 11 hours, sometimes as little as 4 before he wakes up. Go figure.

Brooke said...

Don't read those damn books! All they did for me was made me worry and stress and had me convinced that I was the worst parent ever. Just do whatever makes you and your little one happy.

Andrea said...

I couldn't agree more. Burn the books, I say!