21 February 2013

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Coming home with Gideon the day we left the hospital was the craziest feeling.  It amazed me that they were letting us leave the hospital with him, entrusting us with a baby.  Strangest feeling of my life and of course Tay drove 5 miles an hour home because we were terrified of anything happening.

As brand new parents, the world shifted and we all of a sudden found ourselves needing to understand what to do with a baby. I have said it before and I really believe that I was more prepared for the actual labor and delivery than for the taking care of a baby.  I also think that is to be expected. While pregnant the goal is the labor and delivery.  You take classes on learning what to expect during this time.  I wish I had researched a little more ahead of time about bringing baby home.

I felt completely lost once the dust had settled and everyone else had gone home.  Sure, I knew he needed to eat and sleep and that he would need his diaper changed, but I had no clue about how to put him on a schedule and how long he needed to sleep and when he needed to eat.  This resulted in so many tears (I think my crazy hormones played into this too.  Boy, do those things sure stab you in the back) and many low moments of feeling like a failed mom.

Quickly, I began to research everything out there about caring for a newborn.  Books, articles, anything I could get my freaking hands on to tell me what to do with this human being that I was now responsible for.  I even began sending messages to friends that are new moms to see what they were doing (I know, such a cheater).

I started getting worried that I wasn't doing what they were doing or I let Gideon sleep longer than the book suggested or I fed him too much or too little.  I was beating myself up for not being the mom that everyone else was or that books said I should be and it was killing me.

I need to type this for me as much as anyone else...I am the best mom for Gideon and my instincts are what I need to listen to.  Whew, there.  I said it.  Comparison really is the thief of joy.  I couldn't find joy in just having my son because I was listening to what "experts" said I was probably doing wrong.  While some of the stuff I found was useful, I also had to pick and choose what I felt worked well for our family and for Gideon.  After all, Gideon is Gideon and not any other baby.

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