After yesterday’s post, I got one or two questions along the lines of, “Why would you admit that you hated Liza?”
So here’s the thing. A lot of what parents deal with isn’t talked about, and when it is, it comes couched as advice or, worse yet, shared-misery gloating. When we were pregnant with Eli, suddenly other parents couldn’t wait to tell us how bad it would be. “You won’t sleep for months!” We heard stories of colicky babies, of kids who wouldn’t sleep, of the trouble moms had with breastfeeding. When we were pregnant with Liza, people would say, “Was Eli an easy baby? Then this one will be horrible!”
There’s a lot of contradictory advice available for parents. Being a new parent is such a stressful event that it can make you want the One True Way to Parent. Surely there’s a methodology that, if followed, will make my baby perfect! And given that capitalism abhors a vacuum, books and products and advice-peddlers have rushed to fill that need.
Other moms contribute to the stressed. Convinced that what worked for their kids will work for yours, and wanting the validation of having others follow their advice, they’re happy to tell you what you’re doing wrong and how you’re likely to kill your baby if you don’t do what they say.
I am a believer in information. It’s better to know about things than not to know them. I’m also a believer in sharing experiences over dispensing advice. A lot of our parenting posts flow from these impulses.
Eli and Liza have been, by any measurement you can dream up, easy babies. They ate well, slept well, were happy, and weren’t colicky. Whenever we’re telling stories to friends, we often have to caveat them. “We’re worried about the trip to Arkansas, because Liza sometimes doesn’t like the car seat and will scream for a while. Er, not that it’s anywhere as bad as when your son screamed his way across three states.”
Even with how great they are, we still have Freak Outs. And I think it’s good for parents to know, hey, you’re not alone. It’s understandable to get to the point that you hate your baby and can’t stand to be around them.
If you’re not a parent, you may not care. We certainly didn’t! In our 20s, we had friends who had babies, and that was all they could talk about. It was diapers this and sleep schedules that. For those of you who are in that camp, thanks for bearing with us. There will be more lolpanion cube posts later, I’m sure.