What I Think I Know

Baby #2 is scheduled to arrive on November 2, 2015. So - we know that she won't actually arrive that day, but that's pretty much all I can say that I know. Unlike my first pregnancy I am now secure in the knowledge that I know pretty much nothing.

I have lived more and read more and experienced more - that doesn't necessarily mean that I know more about this child who is coming. She is already so different from her brother and has been since the very beginning in both the physical and emotional ways she's impacted me during this pregnancy. I keep telling Adam that I'm pretty sure we're ready to be parents again, but I'm not so sure we're ready for this particular child. This is going to be one hell of a ride, kiddos.

Being me, I went back to my happy place: my lists and my books. One of my main concerns was how will I get work done and take care of the Buddy while carrying a newborn around? Should I even carry her around? What's the best way for me to be ready for whatever personality kicks its way out in the Fall? 

These are not easy questions. These are especially tricky questions for someone like me who avoids the mom-wars and all of their battlegrounds like the plague.  

You could say that we are an RIE family. Buddy is in a Montessori/RIE daycare. The books I found myself most attracted to are all based somehow on either Maria Montessori or Magda Gerber's teachings. It makes sense to me: babies and toddlers are actually whole people who have likes and dislikes and agendas of their own. Our job as parents is to help them learn about and negotiate society and the world. I read these books and kept saying, "Well, of course!"  

One of the big principles is to let babies alone. Give them time and space to explore their own thoughts and bodies. Have respect for their process and their timeline.  This also makes so sense to me.  I cannot wait to spend quiet time watching her discover our ceiling fan or the skylight the way her brother did. 

BUT.

The first time I didn't have a business to manage. The first time I didn't have a toddler to take care of. The first time I didn't have experience with PPD/A behind me and I didn't know what I needed to stay healthy.  

So I'm looking into baby wearing. I'm looking at wraps and ring slings and carriers. I'm staying away from the baby wearing sites because I've been there before and I know that I'll hear that babies need to be close to mama as much as possible or else. I'm staying away from the RIE sites because I've been there before and I know that I'll hear that babies need freedom or else.  

I don't know much. But I do know what I need. I need a safe place to lay her down and give us both space from each other and time to be separate people.  I need a way to have her close to me while still having my hands free. I know that she needs a mama with less panic attacks and less depression than her brother had to deal with. I know that I need to be that mama for her and for myself. 

And so once again I'm reading books and articles and trying on things in stores and staying far away from the comments. Which is sad, because I'm sure that there are other mothers out there who could give me the benefit of their experience.  

The plan for now? Give her as much freedom as I can whenever I can. Talk to her about what's happening in her world and in mine. Hold her tight when she needs it or when I do. Try and find the courage to trust that I am the best mother for my children. Stay away from the comments section - the ones online and the one in my head. 

Graeme Seabrook