So it turns out, I love having a baby. LOVE it.
It helps that we've been incredibly lucky with Callum so far, and he is generally calm and laid-back. So far he's been sleeping like a dream and eating like a champ, and fussing pretty much only when he's hungry. I know at some point this will change, but we are loving it while it lasts.
It also helps that he's pretty much the cutest thing ever. He's smiling up a storm. He coos when you talk to him. He's captivated by toys. He likes to lie on his activity mat and wave his hands and legs so they bump into the toys. He can do that for upwards of 45 minutes at a time without getting bored. He's rolled over once (tummy to back), and now he's trying really hard to recreate it. Every day during tummy time, he grunts and tries to heave himself over. He's getting really close. I imagine in a couple weeks he'll be doing it regularly... and that will be the end of tummy time.
I love this baby so, so much, to the point where it almost hurts. I love him so much that it almost makes me wistful because it's just so MUCH, if that makes any sense. I love him so much that sometimes I miss him while I'm holding him.
And it has been so awesome to read the blogs of other new moms, and see what's the same and what's different for each of us. I'm constantly impressed by how we all adapt, how we all figure out what works for us and our own individual babies, and how things that aren't right for me or Torsten or Callum at all can be totally, utterly right for other people.
One area in which I notice that I am different from a lot of new moms is in terms of how I express my attachment to Callum. I love holding him, for sure. But I also love being able to put him down. I love that he is entertained on his activity mat and in his bouncy seat, that he sleeps peacefully in his swing and on his boppy. I have no problem putting him down and taking a break so I can eat, shower, work, call family or friends, blog, sleep, spend time with Torsten, or just relax.
I also have no problem letting other people hold him. This never bothered me even when he was just two days old. For me, there's enough baby to go around, and I'll have plenty of time to enjoy him when other friends and family members are done loving on him. I don't feel compelled to take him back when he's in someone else's arms. And I love how much he loves his dad, and how much time they spend together. I enjoy that Torsten can give Callum his bottle, and that they can snuggle together happily for hours.
And, I don't mind leaving the house briefly without him. I can spend an hour running errands, or go to a meeting with our accountant, knowing that he's safe at home with his dad, and that's totally fine. Of course I'm happy to see his adorable little face when I get back... but sometimes it's nice to be out and about on my own, just me. (Though I will say that I am not yet ready to leave him for an extended period of time, or with anyone but Torsten. Maybe in a few more weeks.)
I've been struck by how other new moms feel differently. How it feels off for them when they aren't holding their baby, how it feels totally unnatural for their baby to sleep in his crib in his own room because they want him right there next to them all the time.
I can totally understand why they would feel that way... but I personally do not. I love my baby, I love having him with me, I love holding him, and believe me, I shower tons and tons of affection on him (as does his dad), but I am also happy and relaxed when he's not in my arms, or even if he's in a different room.
And the great thing is... all these ways of being, of feeling, of attaching to your newborn? They're all fine. All of us have happy, loved, well-adjusted babies. All of us are meeting their needs and our own, and enjoying the process. It's just a very early example of how, as parents, we all have to figure out what works for us. And if we can do that without judging people who have found that different things work for them? So much the better.
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