Since the birth of my son, I’ve turned to my Mother from time to time for insight and advice. She raised my brother and I, and we turned out pretty great, so naturally I thought she’d be a wellspring of information on babies.
I. Was. Wrong.
Her response to almost every question I’ve had? “I’m sorry, I don’t really remember.” The next runner-up: “Oh you would know more than me, with all your reading. I was just winging it, being a hippie Mom.”
So this got me thinking about the vast difference in the typical Mommy stress in 1977 compared to 2014.
“Feed the baby when it’s hungry.”
“Change baby’s diaper when it’s wet/dirty.”
“Help baby nap and sleep, but if baby resists, no big deal. Let them stay up late with you, watching TV/jamming with our friends.”
“All the other Moms in my Library storytime group seem to have their s#!t together so much more than me.”
What Moms in 1977 worried about:
“I know breast is best, but should I supplement with formula for the added DHA and Iron?”
“My baby is in a high/low percentile for weight/length.”
“What kind of diaper should we use? Is cloth diapering really the more environmental option?”
“What kind of stroller/baby carrier should we use?”
“Should we vaccinate?”
“Co-sleeping or crib sleeping?”
“Attachment parenting or baby training?”
“What method of sleep training should we do?”
“How the heck do I get my baby to sleep?! They require 4-6 HOURS IN NAPS A DAY & 10-12 AT NIGHT FOR PROPER BRAIN DEVELOPMENT!”
“Did I remember to give the Vitamin D drops/Infant probiotics/homeopathic colic remedy, and stimulate them with black & white high contrast images/songs/story books/tummy time EVERY DAY?”
“Is this amber teething necklace really working?”
“How do I prevent my baby from watching me text and wanting to play with my Smart Phone?”
“All the other Moms in my Stroller bootcamp class seem to have their s#!t together so much more than me.”
What Moms in 2014 worry about:
I guess some things are the same.
I just try to gently remind myself — whenever I am stressing out over (lack of) naps, forgetting the daily D drops, or my son being in the 5-10th weight percentile — that I truly am doing the best I can and if he’s fed, clean, happy, and the house isn’t on fire, then it’s a good day.
And now that I’ve already read all the books, websites and blogs, I can just let it all go, trust my instincts and be a carefree millennium-hippie Mom. (I think I just made that term up) I can try, at least.
Besides, apparently late night TV and second-hand pot smoke didn’t hurt me!