Friday, October 05, 2007

The right to hold you

I went to a baby shower (I just accidentally typed "baby show," which seems somehow telling...) last night, the last one I will go to (presumably) until I have my own. And while there, I had the sinking realization that I am, in a word, unprepared. As those who know me know, I am a list-maker, a decider, a task-mistress, a researcher, a detail-oriented gatherer of facts and figures of the most high order. And yet now, when faced with one of the most important tasks I will undertake, I find myself blithely, perhaps self-destructively unconcerned. I have not cracked a single parenting book. I have read my pregnancy books only twice in the last two months. I haven't looked on the web for info about all the crucial things to do in the first days, weeks, months, years, etc. I determinedly turn the channel whenever A Baby Story comes on (and right now I don't even have cable). I actually left the room last night when the discussion turned to lanolin and nipples and encouraging milk flow. I am, for all intents and purposes, ignoring all but the more pressing physical realities of this pregnancy.

And frankly, despite this little revelatory moment, I am not feeling all that inclined to change my tactics, such as they are. And I am beginning to think this reaction is somewhat pathological, but still, la la la.

Curiouser and curiouser, no?


jen in new haven said...

i just want to say that the larger-then-life baby machine and the whirlwind business of how to be the best mom ever by researching every life decision you make is one that i am glad you are resisting. because as opposed to making you feel prepared, i think it can just make you feel anxious. basically, you're going to do whatever you do and your body will respond when you need it to and (despite what those books might try to tell you) there is no perfect way and your way is just fine even though you might feel guilty that it is simply avoidance -- they want you to think that of course. i have some better books for you to read by some antidiestablishmentarianist mamas that you may find less oppressive. the top of the list is operating instructions by anne lamott (this is a must read, maybe now before baby x comes and you no longer sleep for a few months) and i also enjoyed the mother trip by ariel gore and then there are a number of mama zines (my favorite is miranda which you can get from and others which you might find at anyway, this is the longest comment ever to say that the lil mom should always still be the lil and not become disempowered by the stepford mom and i support you in all your lil-ness.

ege said...

I also read ZERO parenting books before the baby came. And I actually think it was for the best. When I did start reading books (in search of answers when the baby was having napping issues) I stumbled across a world of contradictory opinions and authors attacking other authors rather forcefully (which is very weird when you are not even AWARE of the other author and his argument), fake-o studies and crap science, and a lot of rhetoric about how your child will be stupid, emotionally crippled and cowardly unless you follow the author's advice. In the end, I found parenting books a good source of IDEAS only (not advice) -- as in, I will try these 20 different ideas from 6 different authors for how to get my baby to sleep and see what works. I also really came to appreciate the authors that had a more trust-yourself and different-strokes-for-different-folks kind of attitude. They often seemed the most legitimate to me as well, b/c a lot of the strong claims made by these pediatricians is not at all scientifically sound, which is troubling to me when you consider that these folks are DOCTORS. You also will find that you really have plenty of time to read while breastfeeding (unless you are trying to accomplish work tasks simultaneously, which I am not), and just get the hubby to check out/ buy any books you want to consult as problems arise.