Moms: It's not rocket science, just relax
As you may have learned from yesterday’s post about my insecurities that I suck at playing with Baby G, I am kind of
Despite my best efforts, I’m already falling prey to the “mom enough” trap. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it wrong? Am I ruining my child?
Some of you called me out on it. As my Polish aunt on Facebook said yesterday, “It’s not rocket science, just relax.”
So I’m not playing with my baby every minute of everyday. But I’m going to relax about it, because I she seems pretty happy with her little baby life.
I think one of my problems is I’m trying to funnel the energy I once placed into my career into my relationship with my kid. Being a reporter is all about deadlines, churning out stories, being proactive, showing results, getting recognition. So playing on the floor with a baby doesn’t bring “results,” it doesn’t get acknowledged or impress anyone, and it’s not a project I can turn in and see in print with my name on it the next day. Nope, it’s more about small moments that are actually hugely significant – seeing her big dorky smile, kissing her sparsely haired head, listening to her babble.
My days were very busy before, and I confused my busyness with significance. But this morning I sat on the floor and played with a zipper on a suitcase that Baby G was bizarrely fascinated with. For half-an-hour she was honed in on this zipper and I made pretty awesome zipper sound effects and talked to her all about the zipper worked. Did I get a little bored? Yeah, I did. But I didn’t check my iPhone once.
You ladies gave some cool suggestions on how to play with a not-yet-toddler through comments on the post and on Facebook. Here’s a few:
Cardboard box play
Get a box big enough for her to fit into, and then turn it into things (a fort, a car, a house). Turn it over and cut a hole in it large enough for her to crawl through.
Little drummer baby
Put a bunch of pots and bowls on the kitchen floor and let her explore the sounds they make when they are beaten with spoons.
I’ve been known to play “Blurred Lines” and dance for Baby G, and then sit down and explain to her why the theme of the song is not empowering to women (see: crazy).
Going for walks
This one is easy because it is relaxing for the whole family, even the dog. We’ve lived on a farm for the past two years, so the easiest thing for us to do is stroll around on the property to see the cows.
One Facebook friend suggested I look into Montessori baby toys, which incorporate teaching fine motor skills and brain development into play time.
So I’m just going to relax and enjoy her in this grabby, everything-goes-in-the-mouth stage. I’m going to trust the 5,831 total strangers who have approached me in stores to warn me that it “goes by so fast.” They must be on to something.
I’ve been digging all your feedback and our conversations on here. Thanks and let’s keep it up!