Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Holiday Traditions

27 Dec

I never felt like I had to do a “good job” celebrating holidays,  but with a child I now feel like it is imperative that we celebrate holidays consistently and in “big” and “right” ways. Needless to say, this made the holidays stressful this year as everything we did felt like a lifelong commitment; every food, song, decoration was an aspect of the holiday we would need to recreate every year so our child and future children could grow up with fun, quirky, and special family traditions and memories.

Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves.

To further complicate celebrating, our families do not live near us, and do not live near each other, so including Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins is not particularly easy (flying with a child adds a whole new dimension to the travelling experience).

We definitely put too much pressure on ourselves!

But, we did have some great holiday successes. We’ve settled on a meal that is both tasty and in the spirit of the holidays, and we have some festive decorations that are the right combination of tacky and fun. Most importantly, with all the hectic preparations, travel, and photo taking we were able to find time to just enjoy this time together – the most special part of any holiday.

Resolutions for 2012

23 Dec

I generally do not make New Year’s Resolutions; my birthday is December 31 and having to make a list of arduous tasks to start the day after my birthday is not appealing. However, I just finished reading  The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and have decided to embark on my own mini happiness project. Gretchen inspired me to focus on making myself happy and letting that happiness improve the moods of people around me. As a new mom (although I expect most parents feel like this), doing anything for me impossible and my personality makes taking time for me that much more difficult as I am always putting others’ needs ahead of my own.

My goal is that in doing a few things for me, I will  be a better parent, partner, friend, and person. Also, I think Gretchen makes a sound argument for the fact that focusing on your own happiness is not selfish, especially when your mood affects the moods and wellbeing of others around you. Therefore, I have decided to allow myself to do more for me and to not feel selfish about focusing some energy on making me happy.

I have organized my resolutions into things I will do for me, and then resolutions that focus on my partner, my child, other people, and my dogs. As Gretchen did, I made a resolutions chart where I will chart my success and keep myself on track. Now that I have everything all set-up, I’m taking a breather before the “hard work” of focusing on me in 2012!

Baby Development and Opinions

7 Oct

I do not know anything more about baby/child development than what I have read in What to Expect – the First Year and the Sear’s Baby Book. My philosophy is that my child will development at the pace primarily determined by genetic make-up and only slightly, if at all, based on our interactions and stimulations. I figure if there is a problem or significant delay my doctor will alert me and we will address any issues at that time. So for the time being, we are trying to just keep our baby calm, (seemingly) happy, and meet all needs on demand.

Sometimes meeting needs entails using a baby carrier, swaddling, a swing, a bouncer,  a play gym, a pacifier, a sound machine, or some combination that involves muscles aches at the end of the day. This must be working for us; we have a thriving child and we are all (relatively) well rested. Our baby enjoys playing with us and appears to be meeting important milestones. Success!

Except, I hear, every so often, criticisms of all of our baby gadgets. For example, wearing babies inhibits motor development and does not allow them to interact and explore the world and swings keep babies laying down, inhibit motor development, and can increase the likelihood of sleep problems. While there are counter arguments to baby wearing and swing use, I think the debate is ultimately pointless.

First, parents and babies need sleep. Most babies do not just fall asleep (and stay asleep), especially in the early months, without assistance. There is only so much parents can do; baby gadgets help babies settle and sleep, allowing parents to get some rest.

Second, babies are most interested in interaction during the quiet alert state, but there are two other alert/awake states: active and crying. That means that your baby can be awake and not interested or able to interact and simply need soothing or a change of scenery (after looking at me all day I think my baby is happy to look at somebody or something else). Baby gadgets help settle babies and calm crying and fussiness.

Third, most parents and caregivers do not just watch the baby. Most of us also clean the house, cook meals, do laundry, talk on the phone, use the computer, or engage in some other task that requires putting the baby down to entertain himself for a few minutes. Without a baby gadget of some sort doing anything else during the day would be virtually impossible.

While there are certainly downsides to using baby gadgets, I don’t think that well-meaning, nurturing parents should be made to feel negligent for using gadgets if they result in improved quality of interaction among parent(s) and baby or even improved quality of life.

 

 

Hello world!

3 Oct

Welcome to my blog. I am a new mom trying to maintain my physical and mental health, while also trying to care for and  appropriately stimulate my child, take care of my two dogs, take care of my relationship with my partner, and all the other adult things that need to be done. I hope through my successes and failures I can at least entertain and at most help people. My experience is limited, but growing daily!