Being a first time parent is an impossible task!
Learning how to hold a baby, how to feed her, how to burp her, how to interpret her crying, how to bathe her, how to comfort her…
How come they didn’t teach us any of this in school?
You may answer that we can’t learn this in school, because we learn from our elders.
But why does each person have their own theory and their own opinions? Who am I supposed to believe?
I am always stressed when I’m faced with something new and unfamiliar to me. I hate that all my preparation in reading and research has gone to waste just because somebody comes along and says otherwise.
And we have to follow because this is what the old people say, or because this is the practice of the ancients. If we don’t follow, we will be cursed to suffer in the future.
This broad spectrum of (sometimes conflicting) advice is very confusing.
I hate feeling confused. And with my personality, I feel terrible inside when faced with situations of conflict.
I hate feeling unsure of myself.
There is no consistency in the way we are handling our baby. One day we do it one way. Another day someone tells us another story and we are “taught” to doing things another way.
I hate it when people try to propagate myths or urban legends and try to force me to “practice” them on my baby.
I hate it when I am told off just because I don’t follow what they say. I hate being the only person in the room to see things with common sense.
I hate having to follow some traditions that are only ritualistic or religious in nature.
Why do we have to follow customs from our ancestors who lived in cold climates?
I’m not saying all things they say are bad. After all, look at how we turned out fine.
It’s just those things that don’t make sense. Like not allowing you to wash your hair. Or not allowing you to carry your screaming baby because you will spoil her
Or verbalizing curses upon her life by repeatedly saying to my baby that she is naughty and misbehaving.
This is something that is making me really really unhappy.
Sometimes I just want to scream, “This is OUR baby… why can’t you let US BE THE PARENTS!?”
“Sometimes when we talk to you, all we want is assurance that we are doing fine. I don’t want to hear that all I’m doing is wrong. I need your support, not another form of advice to confuse me further.”
“I know you are doing this to show you care for us, but this isn’t what we need right now. We already have so many things to worry about…”
Sigh… I better stop writing before I cry.
I think I’m suffering from postnatal depression (or the husband’s equivalent of this condition). I’m going to tell you more about that in my next post.
Photo: Ivar van Bussel