I promise, pictures and details of our Christmas are coming! We will venture home in a few days and I can finally get everything uploaded and organized. Until then ... some other topics of interest!
One thing I love about blogging is the connections I make with other moms. That's actually most of the reason as to why I do it in the first place, really. Every week or so I receive an e-mail from a friend, an old friend, or a stranger, asking for parenting advice. I love it because the questions I receive are the same questions I remember asking at various stages throughout Cubbie's early months and in his first year. What to do if your baby hates the car seat, how much of a routine is too strict, what if their naps suddenly go awry, when is a fever too high, how long should you let them cry it out if you decide to do so, etc.
Last night my husband and I went and visited some good friends of ours from college who are expecting their first baby (a boy!). We spent the majority of the evening discussing parenting. We laughed at how, when we first met, dating was all that mattered. Then marriage and finding a job. And now, here we were, years later, talking about baby bottles and bedding. How things have changed! One thing our friends mentioned that they appreciated was how my husband and I were extremely passionate about parenting, but that we hadn't "lost" our identity through all of it, becoming unrelatable or only interested in our own baby. We told them that we think you decide what kind of parent you want to be before your baby is born. And it is good to set these kinds of goals, because once the baby is born, things DO change! But my husband and I have always been resolute about the fact that Cubbie joined our lives, not vice versa, and that there is always a balance between our role as parents and the other roles in our lives, primarily our role as friends. And part of that role as friends is to be available for advice and help when it is needed.
When Cubbie was first born, I thought I was supposed to already know everything. Ha! I put a lot of pressure on myself to handle everything on my own and if I was confused or had a question, I just had to deal with it because I was Caleb's Mom! I should know it already! And, while a lot of parenting is definitely common sense, I realized pretty early on that, as with every new life change, it is overwhelmingly important to talk to other people who have experienced what you are going through. I began to take the bits and pieces of advice I received and put them together to form a framework for what worked for us. We didn't use all of the advice and we inserted our own opinions here and there until we figured different things out as we went along, but the advice we used was definitely priceless!
And even now, we continue to ask for help when questions arise as Cubbie continues to grow and develop. So, new moms and readers and friends, keep the e-mails coming and continue to ask your friends for support. We've been there and you can do it!
Have a lovely day, friends.