Allow for the Possibility

  I did a lot of research during my pregnancy. For example, I knew what size fruit my child approximated each week. I consulted an acupuncturist about my morning sickness. My GoodReads list shows that I completed reading several birthing and pregnancy books, ranging from the truly terrifying to the eternally empowering. I knew I had some options for my birth. I knew what I thought I’d prefer. But as I’ve written about before, I surprised myself in my strength and physicality. I couldn’t have read that in a book (or heaven forbid, in a blog’s comment section). Ruby’s birth was the beginning of my parenting philosophy, but it really was the days thereafter that allowed me to articulate it. Here it is: Allow For The Possibility (AFTP). I’ve tried to stick to that philosophy every time I hear something about parenthood and need to decide if it works for our family or not. For example: My baby was not a great sleeper. Not the worst I’d heard of, but not the best, either. She needed full-body contact, lots of rocking/jiggling/feats of physical strength, and nursing to sleep. Lots of (well-meaning, reasonable) people would argue against these tactics. But they worked for us. One of my great discoveries: Wearing her. I didn’t plan to be a “babywearer,” nor did I even know that was a Thing. I simply knew I had to free up my hands so I could do something once in a while, and her sleeping on me constantly did not really make for any productive time. And so my Moby, and then my Beco Gemini and I, became great friends. AFTP: You might be a babywearer, I could have journaled to myself during pregnancy. In the same vein, AFTP: You might become a morning person. I used to be one of those super-grouchy, do-not-approach-the-wild-animal types until about 10 a.m. Ruby changed that. I don’t necessarily love the 5:12 a.m. wakeups (on Mother’s Day, no less—thanks, kid), but I do approach the day so differently now that it begins with my toddler’s toothy grin and her arms-outstretched excitement. These AFTPs have come fast and furious, as Ruby grows and changes—and as I do, too. AFTP: You might love breastfeeding. AFTP: Cloth diapering is pretty awesome. AFTP: Grieving the passing of her newborn stage, and welcoming her toddlerhood. Every day, I swear to you, AFTP. The truth of it is, AFTP has allowed me to find my parenting groove without guilt or feelings of failure, because I found my way to those things somewhat naturally. I am also eating a lot less crow these days. I read the baby, not the book, as they say. That isn’t to say it’s all been easy. Nor is it to say I am perfect. I have so much to learn. So. Much. But one thing I do know is that not putting label-y expectations on myself or Ruby has been the key. Because it allows for so much magic and discovery and happy accidents and true surprise along the way. And how much of that do we have in our daily lives? And how much more do we need? AFTP. And happily, I’ll be sharing all those discoveries here on the BloomaBlog. I hope you will share yours with me, too.

Tags: , , ,

Allow for the Possibility

  I did a lot of research during my pregnancy. For example, I knew what size fruit my child approximated each week. I consulted an acupuncturist about my morning sickness. My GoodReads list shows that I completed reading several birthing and pregnancy books, ranging from the truly terrifying to the eternally empowering. I knew I had some options for my birth. I knew what I thought I’d prefer. But as I’ve written about before, I surprised myself in my strength and physicality. I couldn’t have read that in a book (or heaven forbid, in a blog’s comment section). Ruby’s birth was the beginning of my parenting philosophy, but it really was the days thereafter that allowed me to articulate it. Here it is: Allow For The Possibility (AFTP). I’ve tried to stick to that philosophy every time I hear something about parenthood and need to decide if it works for our family or not. For example: My baby was not a great sleeper. Not the worst I’d heard of, but not the best, either. She needed full-body contact, lots of rocking/jiggling/feats of physical strength, and nursing to sleep. Lots of (well-meaning, reasonable) people would argue against these tactics. But they worked for us. One of my great discoveries: Wearing her. I didn’t plan to be a “babywearer,” nor did I even know that was a Thing. I simply knew I had to free up my hands so I could do something once in a while, and her sleeping on me constantly did not really make for any productive time. And so my Moby, and then my Beco Gemini and I, became great friends. AFTP: You might be a babywearer, I could have journaled to myself during pregnancy. In the same vein, AFTP: You might become a morning person. I used to be one of those super-grouchy, do-not-approach-the-wild-animal types until about 10 a.m. Ruby changed that. I don’t necessarily love the 5:12 a.m. wakeups (on Mother’s Day, no less—thanks, kid), but I do approach the day so differently now that it begins with my toddler’s toothy grin and her arms-outstretched excitement. These AFTPs have come fast and furious, as Ruby grows and changes—and as I do, too. AFTP: You might love breastfeeding. AFTP: Cloth diapering is pretty awesome. AFTP: Grieving the passing of her newborn stage, and welcoming her toddlerhood. Every day, I swear to you, AFTP. The truth of it is, AFTP has allowed me to find my parenting groove without guilt or feelings of failure, because I found my way to those things somewhat naturally. I am also eating a lot less crow these days. I read the baby, not the book, as they say. That isn’t to say it’s all been easy. Nor is it to say I am perfect. I have so much to learn. So. Much. But one thing I do know is that not putting label-y expectations on myself or Ruby has been the key. Because it allows for so much magic and discovery and happy accidents and true surprise along the way. And how much of that do we have in our daily lives? And how much more do we need? AFTP. And happily, I’ll be sharing all those discoveries here on the BloomaBlog. I hope you will share yours with me, too.

Tags: , , ,

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