I’ve been reading a lot about the best ways to welcome a newborn baby into the world. Everything I’ve read (and I realise I am self-selecting what I WANT to read and WANT to do with my baby) has suggested that holding your child and giving the child lots of attention is best for everyone.
So I had to laugh a little when I received one of these weekly emails about pregnancy; the opening article was about this amazing new idea called Kangaroo Care, when the mother holds the baby near her skin. The father can do it too.
I keep thinking that every parent would want to hold their child near them. But I have to remember that isn’t always the case. And I shouldn’t judge.
Last week, I went to Philadelphia with David. While we were eating lunch, I saw another table at the cafe with three women and a baby in a stroller. One woman was the mom, one was a nanny and the other may have been mom’s coworker. The baby was desperate for mom’s attention, reaching out, crying and wimpering. She would periodically lean oven and give him something but basically ignored him for her other lunch partners or her cell phone. When she got up to pay, he cried out for her more and she didn’t even acknowledge him. As they left, the nanny pushed the stroller and mom walked behind, not even with the baby.
I understand not everyone shares my values, and I probably won’t be the parent I’ve idealized in my imagination. When my step kids are at our house, I talk to them, play with them, make things with them. I try to share my thoughts and listen to theirs (age appropriate, of course). And when Raspberry is born, I do hope that I will take the time to listen to his needs and fulfill as best as I can.