babying: thinking

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When you welcome your first child into your family, through birth or adoption, there is a seismic shift. 

There is no need to make a decision like, “We are not going to change our life, the baby will adapt to our schedule” and “It’s all about the baby now, we have no life”.   It is a good time to concentrate on feeling centered, to breathe with the baby and into the new life and balance you are creating. 

Talking to the baby can help you focus.

You can avoid saying things you woudn’t say to your baby if she could understand you.  This is for your benefit now as well as in the future. It’s also showing a respect for your child, your baby, which helps you center your own emotions and attitude.  It’s much easier to start and continue than it is to change—change is great, and possible, but takes more effort.  The more you practice now the smoother things will be as your child gets older.

And while this is a tiny point, other people pick up on and make jokes about things you may not want them to when, let’s say, your daughter is 3 or 4 or 7:  “Remember how she would_________” isn’t much fun! (Fill in with, perhaps: “poop all over her back”)

How can I see the big picture with a newborn?  I’m constantly doing something!
One way is to think, relax, and read.  Again, the temptation to watch tv when you nurse is high—if you can read or just relax or alternate, you may find in the long run it will help.  Many mothers are writing about what I am, and their books are breaths of fresh air.

Meditation, or a version of it.
While I would love to take a meditation class or workshop, I haven’t yet.  But just sitting and relaxing, sometimes thinking, sometimes not, is very calming.  5 minutes in the same position, just drinking in a moment for yourself.

You are integrating the baby into your life and integrating your life with the baby’s.

Help your partner feel as connected to the baby as you do—whether you have given birth or adopted, usually one person feels a bit more like the primary caregiver.  It’s essential to give your partner an almost equal chance to do everything for the baby, except nursing.  Feeding a child a bottle is not a necessary part of bonding.  When your baby starts eating other food at 6 months, then they can bond over rice cereal.

Ways to empower your partner and your relationship— give your partner space to

  • Change diapers
  • Hold and comfort the baby
  • Play with him during tummy time
  • Give him a bath (or do it together)
  • Wear the baby

Really, make sure your partner has a chance to do everything—even if he or she is nervous and doesn’t necessarily want to, right away.  A partner who feels empowered and capable is someone we want to be with—while it can be kind of cute sometimes to think you know best, it’s a lot of pressure.  And to be with someone who feels confident is worth everything in love.



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