Friday, May 11, 2012

Don't Sweat the Small Things

I'm still pretty new to all this parenting gubbins. Five weeks isn't a long time. Not even a full summer holiday's worth of experience under my belt.

I wrote a post earlier this week about dummies. Perhaps you read it. Perhaps you were one of the many people who were kind enough to leave me a comment which would reassure me that, actually, I shouldn't worry about giving The Creature a dummy/soother/pacifier/gobstopper. If you were, I thank you. You made me feel better about the choice I'd made and I'm grateful for that.

A few people expressed the sentiment that is the title of this post. They're right. The one I took particular notice of was @tricky_customer. She has a blog which you should read: http://trickycustomer.wordpress.com/.

She doesn't sweat the small stuff, because she's got too much of the big stuff going on. I won't try to re-tell her story here, go and see it for yourself. Needless to say, theirs is an inspiring family.

It's a great piece of advice for a new parent, along with number eleven on @SAHDandproud's list over here. I am the first to admit I've found it difficult to not be drawn into the swirling melee (how can I put the correct accent on that? I can't be bothered to look it up just now) of conflicting advice and evidence surrounding parenting. It's fucking confusing.

So when your new baby, your first baby, the baby you waited what seemed like forever for, does something a bit confounding, it's easy to panic. To run through EVERY option for calming a baby down in the space of fifteen minutes. When none of it works, it's equally easy to panic again and assume there's something wrong.

There's nothing wrong. It's just that he's a baby. Babies cry. A LOT. But it's just crying. Just a small thing. So don't sweat the small things.

It's going to be my mantra for parenting from now on, because if it's not I might go actually mental.

We're getting there I think. This evening we didn't sit in, in front of some random televised shite. We tried to feel like real people for a bit, took a little walk down to the pub we used to visit every week to do a quiz. We both had a drink. A sit down and a chill out for an hour. Mrs L was wearing the baby in a wrap and he behaved beautifully. For a minute we even forgot he was there at all.

Does that make us sound awful? No, I don't think it does, but there I go again, worrying. Don't worry, I've stopped now.

15 comments:

  1. Wow, firstly, that sounds like a great evening! Well done you for getting out. It does not make you sound awful. Babies that young wouldn't mind at all... Secondly, you are right, don't sweat the small stuff! But it's hard to remember that when it's 3am and your baby has been crying for 5 hours non stop. We all get caught up in the moment. I remember evenings where we just had to shut Ethan away in another room for 10 mins so we could eat our meal. Not that I could swallow any food due to the level of stress and anxiety I was under, hearing him cry. Colic? Yes, more than likely.. He also had reflux. Those two combined made for very hard early days. Whatever, I'm blathering on. You're doing a great job, stumbling through parenting blind, like the rest of us :)

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    1. It was lovely to get to the pub, we both really enjoyed it :)

      I'm sure I'll look back at this post and laugh when I'm massively stressed out and wishing he would sleep/eat/stop doing something aggravating, but I'll try to stick to it!

      Sounds like you had a lot of "fun" with Ethan in the early days...

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    2. Oh yes... We really did!!

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  2. It takes most parents a lot longer than 5 weeks to learn that one! Although easier said than done. If someone had told me that I wouldnt ever flicker an eyelid at my two toddlers covering my dining room (& themselves) in chilli & sticking rice up their noses 5 years ago I wouldve weed myself laughing at them! The other one that I've learnt the most from is applying this to other peoples advice (cause everyone has lots to give) take what works for you & ditch the rest! Here's to many more visits to the pub :0) xx

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    1. I've had the advantage of blabbing on about it online and some very kind people giving me lots of tips! Left to my own devices I'd have probably exploded by now.

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  3. Go out and have fun! At that age D slept best in a restauraunt with constant noise just pulled up next to us in a pram. Do some lovely things together, with C!

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    1. I like this comment. We are* going clubbing tonight because of it. Thanks! :-)



      *are not.

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  4. I agree and my small people are 5 and 6 yo. My mantra is similar, something to do with choosing battles, as they still don't do anything in the way you quite want them to, and mostly it doesn't matter. You just have to get worried when they do the really naughty stuff. Have fun where and when you can and remember my other advice, it won't last forever. It helps if you have a difficult phase to get through ( we all have them) and it also helps to remind you to make the most of them when they are tiny. Soon they won't want to know you in public!

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    1. I'm looking forward to being an embarrassing dad, but you're right, I should cherish the time he's dinky :-)

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  5. There are no hard and fast rules to parenting in my experience, having said that you appear to have sussed most of it out a lot quicker than I did, keep on enjoying yourself.

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    1. I don't feel like I've sussed any of it out, and I'm sure the next time something crops up I'll forget all the well meant sentiment in the post and panic anyway!

      I will keep enjoying it though, thanks :-)

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  6. My view on parenting is you need to have a general philosophy to it, based on what you believe is the right way to bring up a child. That's the important bit, all the detail less so. Do what feels right to you and you only.
    And the going out thing? I strongly believe in getting out and living a normal life when you have a baby. It shouldnt be a reason for sitting at home. That'll just create resentment and no one needs that :)

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  7. I Think its only natural to worry about both small and big things as first time parents. Yeah some people have bigger worries and different lives, but that shouldnt make your worries any less valid. Sounds as though your doing a great job :-) x

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  8. Yip, "don't sweat the small stuff" is defo great advice. It is so easy to get caught up in it all, you get bombarded with advice, there's books and information galore. Useful at times, but in general, just do what works for you and the baby and you'll be fine!

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  9. I don't think I sweat the small stuff. Well I know I might go on a rant about housework but in general I am always just glad that everyone is healthy. Thats the most important to me.

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