Sunday, June 9, 2013

Breaking the Six Week Seal (spoiler: he didn't break)

Now that D is well into month #3 of existence (11 weeks old tomorrow!) I'm fairly certain I won't break him. But there were some milestones along the way that freaked me. Like that six week one. Did it scare anyone else?

Hitting the "six weeks old!" mark was exciting (the "don't go indoors with crowds" ban - Lifted! Grocery stores, here we come! Free! We are free from confinement! We can go anywhere!) but also a bit intimidating.

I have a stack of parenting/baby books. One or two I appreciate, some I glance at, others I ignore, but occasionally peek at to give M and I some "listen to this shit..." conversational material while we make dinner. (I'm looking at you, you sleep training tomes.) All of them seem to have a lot of sentences that start out like:
  • By six weeks, your baby should (love his bath! Almost sleep though the night! Start to recognize you and this and this and that....)
  • Don't worry about this until your baby is six weeks old...
  • This is all fine until about the six week mark....
If the books were to be believed, there are very few ways to fuck up parenting within the first six weeks, but look out, once those cognitive lights start switching on, you better bring your A game. Are you stimulating enough? Are you paying attention to sleep patterns and starting to mold them? Are you giving in a little too easily to cries and whimpers? Ack. It was enough to get a sleep-deprived mom a little panicked.

Luckily, I have some well-read friends, who must have been sensing my (I'm looking for a better, less misogynist word than hysteria here. If you can think of it, insert it.) And links to more soothing literature started to find their way on to my phone and iPad.

I found a lot of comfort in these essays and articles. So I thought I would share the calm:

This one makes me feel better about folding the laundry and doing the dishes with D, particularly this line:
what children need to grow and develop adequately is typically provided for during everyday experiences in the context of a relationship with sensitive caregivers in the child's natural environment.
This one gives me free license to drool everywhere. Nice.

This makes me feel a little better about the little bit of breast milk I've been able to give D, even if I do decide to dump the pump (more on this later). Like so many of you have already noted, it doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition.

And this just makes me feel better. All the time.

Thanks ladies. We made it.