at an outdoor concert
When you're about to have a baby, you suddenly become a target for lots of well-meaning advice. Lots of people wanted to share their favorite brand of bottles, the way they got their child to sleep, which parenting book they found the most useful. I took all this in with a smile and a nod, mostly gathering advice I found useful (and in line with my personal philosophies) from blogs I had read for years, especially since only a couple of my close friends already have children.
at a restaurant (with my glass of wine...)
Perhaps my least favorite things to hear were "get in all the sleep you can now" and "enjoy ___ while you can!" I understand that it was well meaning, but it seemed wholly unnecessary. I mean, at that point I was obviously having a baby either way! No turning back! Although there's no way to prepare parents for the blow their sleep tally will take, I can honestly say that it was not nearly as bad as folks made it out to be. I think we had just been so intensely terrified by the warning-wishers that I was expecting the worst, but I sleep enough and certainly more than I expected to. The thing I hate about those sort of statements is, there's no hope or light in them. They imply that whenever you have a baby you're losing something, and that just isn't true.
at brunch with some of my girlfriends
Before Claire was born, I would see my friends with kids leave a party early to go home to their baby and think "wow, they must really be sad they can't stay." Now I know that nothing is further from the truth. When I have to leave a party to go home to Claire, I am PSYCHED. By that point I'm usually missing her anyways, wishing I was sitting in her nursery watching her sleep (really.) My mom always gave the advice to "not have a baby until all I wanted to do was have a baby." I absolutely did that, and now I never feel an ounce of regret when I "have" to stay home with my baby on a Saturday night.
at a craft festival downtown
Here's the thing about that though - I rarely have to. I don't like leaving Claire, at all. I actually looked forward to this past weekend more than any weekend in a long time, because I didn't have any plans that required me to leave Claire with a babysitter, or a family member, or even just Darrell. I got to hang out with her and take her with me to every outing we had all weekend, and it was wonderful. We take Claire to concerts, to restaurants, out shopping, on long walks, pretty much anywhere you'd want to go on a weekend. There are very few places that you really shouldn't take a baby, and the bottom line is that I don't really care about going to those places anymore. If I wanted to be in a bar on a Saturday night at 1 am every weekend or see movies in the theater rather than waiting for them to come out on iTunes, I wouldn't have had a baby. We go to restaurants for dinner in the early evening hours and Claire naps well in the sling, and rarely cries. If she does, we leave. No big deal. I nurse Claire whenever and wherever she wants to eat, and no one has ever said a thing to me - and if they did, you better believe I have a nice little speech prepared for them to hear.
eating lunch at blueberry hill
Maybe I'm fortunate to have a sociable baby, but I can honestly say though that if anything, I enjoy every single aspect of my life now even more than I did before. Our other friends with a baby brought their baby with them everywhere we went, and as a result, she's great at going on outings. We wanted that to be the case with Claire as well. Of all the crazy advice we've received, some of the best I've ever heard is "familiarity breeds fondness" with babies (except maybe, in the case of carseats). If we keep going at the rate we are, Claire's favorite things will end up being
fancy food, local boutiques, and large music festivals.