Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything


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I really do have faith in my husband

Apparently my husband is convinced I think he’s going to kill our child.

Not through neglect or anything, but just normal stuff.  Like the way he feeds our kid, or puts Baby in the car seat, will ultimately result in death.

This is not true.

I actually have quite a bit of faith in my husband, who I certainly don’t know any better than, but because I asked if he was going to get the car seat installation verified at the fire station, if he was uncomfortable with how he did it or wanted to make sure, this translates into “Honey, I believe that through negligence you will kill our child inadvertently.”  Please note that I also said if he were cool with how he had done it, I was too and trusted him to do it correctly.  I chose to get mine verified because I wasn’t, and thank goodness because I did it wrong.  But I’ll be the first to tell you my spatial reckoning is crap, and I couldn’t tell if the darn seat was level with the ground or if the curve of the seat was throwing me off (the only building level we have is too long to fit where it needed to, so I had to eyeball it).

Net result was my husband saying, “I need you to be ok with the fact I’m not going to kill our kid, ok?”

Why yes, I can see why you would need that.  I’m chalking it up to his nerves and the fact he doesn’t often express them because I’m the one who’s doing the mood swings, thankyouverymuch.

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Interviewing daycares, part 2

I’ve now been to two different daycares, one part of a chain and one church-affiliated.  Chain A (the others are all chains also) was a private tour, and ChurchCare was an open house.

Chain A was a HUGE bust.  Even though it’s placed in an affluent area, and was the most expensive chain on the list, there were things that didn’t deliver on the promise of its location and cost.  The infant instructor couldn’t speak English well, and that’s something I feel is very important given how early children can pick up language fundamentals.  I expect others to speak to my child as though he’s intelligent, without baby-talk, and in complete sentences.  This instructor left me with doubts about the type of exposure my child would have to language, so I was disappointed early on.  This chain also teaches Spanish, but it’s not something that a parent can opt-out of should they wish.  I don’t know that we would, but I would like to have some say in whether or not my child learns a foreign language, and which one.  Lastly, and most concerning to me, they have a menu for the lunch and snacks the children eat (including infants, as that room goes all the way to 12 months).  It does not vary based on age, so I asked how they modify the foods to accommodate all the students from 5 months to 5 years of age.  The example I used was cinnamon apples.  The apples are peeled and cooked, but only diced.  Even for infants.  I don’t care how finely it’s “diced” by the Magic Bullet you say you have, a child just starting on solid food needs something pureed.  That they cannot or will not do so suggests that there is a choking hazard there I’m not willing to gamble on.

ChuchCare was a different experience just by virtue of it being an open house instead of a one-on-one meeting.  It didn’t start on time, which I sort of expected but I still wanted it to…I just really love punctuality and it makes it easier for me to plan knowing that something will indeed start at X and end at Y.  Everyone was quite friendly, and their facility was very nice.  The website leaves something to be desired as there are numerous broken links but I’m optimistic that everything put on the secure site for parents is functional.  The infant room was nicer than Chain A, and they participate in a food program so you know your child is going to get exactly the food you want them to have.

The downsides to ChurchCare are the price and the community.  The price isn’t as low as I was hoping it would be, so it’s still a net loss of money with me returning to work either full- or part-time.  I’ll talk more about that once I’ve seen the other 2 chains I’m visiting and have to make a decision.  As far as the community goes, while they’re very nice people I’m just not sure it’s the right fit for us.  Part of that is because they expect annual contributions via fundraising and I feel that if I’m already paying a significant portion of money to you (and your prices are not that much lower than your competitors, certainly not by $600 per year) then I don’t want to be on the hook for multiple fundraisers.  I don’t want to devote that much time to someplace just because I’m contractually obligated.  The other thing is that I’m not sure the demographic is diverse enough.  It’s hard being in a 90% environment if you’re in the 10%, and I don’t want that for my child if it can be avoided.

I’m visiting Chain B today after work, so hopefully I’ll have more good experiences!


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Is it a bad thing I’m not concerned about this?

Apparently you’re not prepared to be a parent unless you’re worried about if you’ll be good at it.  At least, that’s the “conventional” wisdom people seem to throw around a lot, like anxiety is a sign you’re totally ready to be a parent.

We all know that is not true, at least not 100% of the time.  If you’re truly concerned about how you will feed or clothe your child, don’t reproduce.  It’s honestly that simple.

If, on the other hand, you have concerns but a plan to make it work, then chances are you’re more ready than if you were freaking out about it.

The same things seems true to me when it comes to lifestyle.  If you’re honestly thrown into a panic when you think about what you’ll have to give up when you’re a parent, now is not the time to give it up.  Parenting, to me, seems to involve a lot of judging what’s more important to you (like a clean house versus active lifestyles) and if you aren’t prepared to compromise a little on your pre-child standards, maybe it’s not something you’re ready for.

But here’s my confession: I’m not worried if I’ll be a good parent.  Again, conventional wisdom often suggests that if you’re not filled with dread at the prospect of each of your choices irrevocably screwing up your kid’s life, then you’re not aware enough of the impact a parent has on a child’s life.  I’m not worried about this either.

Here’s why, in a nutshell:

  • Kids are remarkably resilient
  • You WILL make mistakes.  The trick is making sure to correct them, either with apologies or modeling the correct behavior, whichever is appropriate to the mistake you made.
  • I had amazing parents, who raised a decent child themselves.  I feel very confident going forward because I don’t have a list of things I don’t want to do differently – I have a HUGE list of things I want to do the same as my parents.  Good examples of successful techniques and approaches are empowering.

What about you?  Do you think you should be nervous?  Why, and how much, if so?  Why not?