a mother’s guilt. well, that actually started when I was pregnant, but whatever.
I was going to dedicate this blog to adult things. you know, like street grates and random conversations with strangers. I had decided that I wasn’t going to blog about kids and parenting and all that stuff that childless people find so tedious. however, that is my life, now. and, you know what? I embrace that. My son is everything, and so he should be.
which brings me to the topic at hand. my son. actually it’s not so much about him, as about other people. my son is 3.5 months old and whenever I see or meet people this is the conversation that follows…
person: he’s so cute!
person: how is he?
me: he’s great! he spoils us; he’s really easy.
person: oh, so he sleeps through the night?
me: well, no.
until I became a mom, I was unaware of the fact that the gauge of a good baby is whether or not he sleeps through the night. call me insane, but I don’t mind waking up to feed him. honestly, I rather wake up once or twice in the night to feed him than to have a baby who sleeps through the night, but needs to be held all day (or whatever the case may be). during the day, I can sit my son down in chair (we have a number of baby chairs, and he doesn’t have a preference) and he is perfectly content. I can do chores around him – laundry, dishes, dinner -he just watches. that, to me, is an easy baby. who cares if he gets hungry at night. he’s a baby.
you know, the first thing everyone told me when I had a baby was “trust your instincts.” good. that I can do. phew.
the second thing was “they say you should…” (I would really like to meet the omnipotent they and check their credantials!)
the problem is, most of the time, my instincts conflict with the shoulds and the supposed tos. So, am I really supposed to trust my instincts? or, am I really supposed to do what I’m supposed to do? (if you are confused, join the club!)
basically, I don’t want to screw him up. if he doesn’t want to sleep in his crib, will it really damage him if he doesn’t? if he freaks out whenever we put him in it, is forcing him worth the stress it causes him? do the means justify the end. I mean, before I know it, he’ll be in a bed, anyway. instincts tell me to let him sleep wherever he feels safe, secure and comfortable. they tell me that he should be in his crib.
I also don’t understand this whole hyper-scheduled, structured approach to baby care. if I listen to him, won’t he tell me what he needs? even if it is (god forbid) half an hour before he’s supposed to be hungry, or an hour after I’ve decided he should be tired enough to nap? I dunno. I understand that, for children, routine is important because it makes life predictable, which makes them feel secure. but, how rigid does that have to be? and, how soon does it need to be implemented? he’s a baby. my instincts tell me to give him some credit and trust him to tell me what he needs.
hence… the guilt. do I trust my instincts, or do I listen to them?