I'm a little behind on posts due to lots of mini-adventures alongside hectic work schedules. We'll try to get the blog back up to date over the next few weeks! This post is long overdue, as I find myself offering these same words of advice to friends and colleagues in a myriad of situations. Enjoy!
The best advice I received as a new parent was to “just enjoy your baby.” It was a revelation. I was getting stressed and depressed about my inability to breastfeed Joey (before you suggest a helpful tip – we really tried everything). But a good friend reminded me with that short sentence that it is far better to let go the things we can’t change and enjoy what we have. It felt like our lives changed overnight (in retrospect – in the moment it was probably not quite that immediate!) from constant stress and worry, being ashamed to take Joey in public because of our awkward feeding system (he was given baby formula through a small tube while I nursed him), and feeling that no one had ever had this problem before (a lot of people have), to letting go. Suddenly, I cherished my moments with Joey even if feeding him was awkward. After all, he would never be that tiny again! That’s not to say every moment was perfect and happy. But I managed to exchange hopelessness for hope. That made my life, Simon’s life, and Joey’s life so much better.
This seems to be a particularly poignant thought as we enter the holiday season. It is so easy to become distressed over planning every detail – the Thanksgiving turkey, the perfect holiday card to send out, getting thoughtful, useful, gifts for everyone on your list, baking tasty treats for social and work functions…
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all take a step back and just enjoy it?
We are far from perfect, but we are all three far happier to laugh off the kinds of events pictured here than to let them gnaw away at us, building angst and distress. At the end of the day, if we have a happy, healthy, child, we feel that we can rest easy.
Science has shown many times that what kids want and need most are happy, loving parents. So if things don’t go exactly as planned, say your cookies get burned because you were building the biggest snowman in the neighborhood, instead of feeling hopeless try laughing and just enjoy what you have.