Every time I breathe I seem to be questioning something these days – whether something is good or bad, right or wrong, black or white. And guess what – it’s just not helpful. Constantly judging this whole parenting thing is an exercise in frustration. It’s made worse by the fact that every baby is different, so that nifty trick that made someone’s baby sleep through the night at 3 weeks will probably not work and the miraculous product that makes her not cry during every nappy change probably doesn’t exist. So Phil and I made the decision to attempt to stop assessing every single thing we’re doing. I believe that the more time we can stay present (and out of judgement) even during these really difficult bits, the more connected we can become as a new little family and the more we will reflect back on how amazing this time was in our lives. Our little cutie pie is perfect and there is nothing that we need to change or do better. We are all just learning as we go along. And tomorrow I might not be as insightful, so please remind me to chill.
Keira is now just over 3 weeks old and getting cuter by the minute. And just like any newborn, she is a lot of work. We made a conscious effort to get out of the house more last week. Not easy when it’s November. We visited Hampstead Heath and Starbucks one day. That ended with feeding her in the waiting area of an Overground station to stop the other passengers from killing us on the train while Keira wailed. So not a total success, but at least we got out of the house and took transit for the first time.
The next day was a busy one full of things that once upon a time we would have thought nothing of – going to the bank, meeting up with a breastfeeding support group, grabbing lunch at a proper sit down cafe (and having amazing Huevos Rancheros and meeting other new parents in the area who were just as excited to be out of the house) and getting some well deserved pastries. And all went off without a hitch! I even had to feed her while we were chatting with our banker (who thankfully is a mother of a 9-month-old). Major success! After that confidence booster, we boldly set out to meet up with friends at Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick for lunch. Keira was a little angel until we finished our meals, then I attempted to feed her without success. Hands, legs and head were flailing in every direction and made it look like I was trying to strangle her or something instead of give her nourishment. We packed ourselves up and left promptly and scrambled to get back to the safety of our little flat. Our friends were very gracious about the whole thing, but probably thinking “So that puts an end to us having children.” Again – at least we were out of the house.
Probably the biggest success of the week is that she is – as of right now – sleeping somewhere other than our arms. And she’s been there for almost 4 hours! I’m trying so hard not to judge this with thoughts like “She shouldn’t sleep that long during the day,” and “She might have days and nights mixed up” and “We are in for a load of pain tonight to get her to sleep.” Instead, I’m replacing with thoughts like “She must have needed the sleep” and “Thank God that I can move around the house without her for a few hours.”
Every day is a test to see how much we can enjoy this time. Phil has one more week off of work and then I’ll be flying solo, so we are trying to embrace this time we have as a little family unit.