I don’t usually don’t characterize myself by the words “worry.” I am a Type B personality, ENFP, and much more of a “laundry everywhere” kind of gal rather than a neat freak. However, this parenting shindig has thrown me a bit, especially lately. I don’t feel the need to check on our sleeping one every 5 minutes (I mean, every once in a while, just to make sure she’s still breathing, because we are parents after all and with that comes a bit of paranoia). Lately though, I have been wondering if I’m doing enough to help her learn and develop properly.
I checked the predicted charts when she should be crawling, standing, mimicking me, have teeth, etc, as well as comparing her to the other babies I know, all the while chanting the mantra in the back of my mind,”Oh, all babies are so different.” Yes, they are, but as I as saying that on the outside, I was crawling on the inside, googling and reading to make sure I’m not breaking my baby’s brain. Does she have enough toys that stimulate development? Should she be watching Baby Einstein? When should I introduce crafts? How long per day should I let her have tummy time, even though she gets really frustrated? Is she getting enough baby social time? Is she sleeping perfectly? When she does start crawling, what all should we baby proof? And so it goes . . .
Hey brain- J U S T S T O P I T.
I started reading though a book called “Free Range Parenting,” and though it is supremely sarcastic to the point on an occasional eye-roll, it has made some very valid points. It exposes the media and marketing for the fear-mongering rascals they are. It has encouraged me to trust my gut and to enjoy every moment without the terror that I am permanently screwing up my child. There is so much more to be said on this, but I am not even going to bother elaborating. I am simply going to state that I am no longer worrying, and letting it go. I know my child is healthy, active, learning, observing, and moving at a pace that feels comfortable for her. I want her to take her time absorbing the world, because too soon she will be a part of the everything that is screaming lies at her, lies of “not fast enough,” “not good enough,” “not enough . . . !” It’s infuriating, and I want her to be safe from that in her own home.
So Mabel, I believe in you, and I have confidence in you.
You do you, boo, and we will intensely love you and encourage you along the way.