So I just bought the Bumbo chair which I love. I don't leave the baby in it too long though. I just use it to help her practice sitting up and if I need to run to the potty or something. I don't know how some moms do it... you know the ones that know exactly what diapers to buy and know exactly what thingamajig is perfect for each stage of development and the ones that know where all the cute/inexpensive baby clothes are. I guess it's play dates with other mommies or going to mommy groups. I'm not doing much of that lately because my little one can't stand being in the car for more than 5 or 10 minutes tops. Almost all the mommies I'd like to visit live much further than that. I woke up this morning to my daughter's beautiful smiling face. This little one couldn't be cuter if she tried. I get so happy when I see that smiling face every morning. She wakes up so happy and that makes me happy too. When I looked at her though, it dawned on me that I have NO idea what I'm doing. I wonder if that happens to every parent. One day they look at their child and think "Holy poop, I'm a parent and I have absolutely NO idea how to be one!" It's comforting to know that there are others out there that feel the same way I do. Even the parents that have it together and feel confident were clueless parents at one point too I'm sure. I always thought that saying "kids don't come with an instruction booklet" was a silly saying. I thought it was so redundant. "Of course not," I would think, "so why bother even saying that?" But now I know why parents say that. Because for the first few months they were probably scouring their home, their parents', and their friends' homes and pretty much every possible corner of the universe looking for that instruction booklet only to finally discover no such thing exists and they're going to have to go it alone. Aaaaaahhhhh!!!
My little one is already teaching me so much. When I see her all blobby, not able to control all her limbs yet and jerky, I can sense her helplessness and it then becomes mine. And then I go back to when she was first born and think maybe that's why I wouldn't completely connect with her. I think she reminded me of parts of me that feel weak and helpless and that I knew just needed time and patience on my part to rebuild and strengthen- emotionally and physically. Her smiley mornings remind me to always smile at life. Her being in the present at every moment brings me to my present every time. It's lesson after wonderful and heartbreaking lesson. I wonder how single moms do this. I wonder how teenage moms do this. I wonder how moms of multiples do this. I'm sure they punch it out as best they can.
The thing is that "best they can" is just not enough. It's okay to start clueless but not okay to stay so. I realized this the other day at a play date I had with these two awesome mommas. We were all at different stages of parenting. One's little one was 4- her only child. The other momma's first boy was 3 and her other boy is just about my little one's age. And then me, who's only little one is almost 4 months. We have all made big sacrifices to be there as much as possible for our children. We all co-sleep. We all are breastfeeding (or did breastfeed at one point as was the case for the 4 year old). We all keep our babies in arms. We tune into and follow our baby's cues. We are committed to raising children that will be more sound of body and mind than was last generation's status quo. We are committed to changing the face of the world through our efforts and actions. So it's not just about punching it out and just getting by with kids. I think parents have a moral obligation nowadays to foster change by way of their children's upbringing.
If anyone wants to disagree with me- maybe say I'm being a bit dramatic- here's something to chew on.