Saturday, September 21, 2013

Parenting Baby-steps

This is what's happening this morning.  Alex is at work.  Johnny is napping.  I am having breakfast/watching The West Wing/knitting/blogging. I'm a great at multitasking. I'm also ignoring a pile of laundry that needs to be folded.

Later today I'm going to take Johnny to Old Navy. Running errands with a baby is something I used to avoid like the plague. The first time Alex and I took him to the store (Target) he was 2 weeks old, had a melt down, needed to nurse and the only place to sit down was the bench right by the entrance.  Trying to nurse a screaming baby in a very public place using a cover for the first time. Needless to say it was a disaster.

After that I didn't attempt to take Johnny anywhere (besides church) for about month. Then one sunny July day we crept out onto the front steps to confront the world again.  I decided to start small, just a walk around our neighborhood. Then we went to Trader Joe's with my mom, it feels much safer if the infant is outnumbered by adults.  Next I tried  taking a walk to the gift shop by our house. If I put Johnny in a wrap he would fall asleep on the way. He usually sleeps about 45 minutes when I wear him, so I'd have about 15 minutes of shopping time and could get back home before he'd wake up. Then we did Target again.(Gulp!)  I went when I knew Johnny was tired, put him in a wrap, and shopped while he slept.  We've had many successes, but it's still terrifying, like shopping with a ticking time bomb that could explode at any minute.

Being at home with an infant all day can be very isolating. I don't mean to say I don't like being a stay at home mom.  I love it. It's a job I have looked forward to for a long time. But it is isolating. Even just a few minutes of contact with another adult can go a long way.  That's why it was so great when I finally became more confident taking my baby out in public.  Sometimes he's still fussy, but we can get through it better. Sometimes he smiles at everyone and everything we see. Then it's really fun!


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