maandag 11 februari 2013

Lessons learned: Baby survival mantra's

Rule number 1 when dealing with a newborn: do not want.

Because I'll not get it. He won't sleep when I want him too, whereas he'll drop off for hours when I'd prefer him to be awake, he'll not go on a practical nursing schedule, he'll not forego pooping during the night and he'll cry whenever he wants too, whether or not that breaks his mama's heart (I know, I know, I promised I wouldn't do this this time around - but I am doing it. It's stronger than I am.)

I have stolen this mantra from E., actually, who'll frown and pout and push offending objects (quite often her plate) away and mutter darkly "don't want". I find myself muttering the same around half past four in the morning, when baby J. is on his bi-hourly feeding schedule. But, like E., I don't have much choice in the matter.

With E. I had a different, altogether more friendly, mantra: "I will never regret time spent cuddling my child." 

Baby J. is seventeen days old today. So realistically, I should not want things from him yet. He's growing like a maniac, feeding like there's no tomorrow, he likes the bath if it's hot hot hot, he has gorgeous blue eyes which inspect the world around him. 

He is strong, can almost hold up his head and when he smiles, which he already does, he has dimples in his cheeks. He is beautiful, big, healthy. 

He fights sleep with every ounce he's got in him. The pram works during the day, if it's a proper walk. He'll do one or two fairly long stretches at night (a couple of hours each) if swaddled to the hilt. If he escapes the cloth, he'll wake himself up by fiercely throwing his arms around. 

His sister was the same - big, healthy, beautiful, open to all the wonders of the world and ready to fight sleep at every corner. She turned into a good eater, a good sleeper and an all round wonderful person. So why am I worrying? 

I am not the only one to hang on by the skin of my mantra's. Other people's include "sleep is for the weak" and "this too shall pass". What are your mantra's? How do you survive the worrywart stage? How should I relax? And how do I conquer the fear of being without grandparental help, i.e. how do I cope when my mother leaves?

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