Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rookie Moms to the rescue

Heather and Whitney have this fantastic book out that all new mom’s should check out. The Rookie Mom’s Handbook isn’t like most books out there for new moms and expectant moms. You’re not going to be charged with a list of ‘to-dos’, checklists or milestones that turns a rational sane woman to an absolute nutcase. “OMG, Sarah hasn’t reached a milestone. What now?”
RMH isn’t an anecdote book that may cause you to chuckle but leaves you a bit less knowledgeable. It’s the book I turn to when I want to feel like an accomplished mom and woman. When I’m knee deep in diaper changes and laundry and the last meaningful conversation I can recall is about the consistency of liquids expelled from my child, I turn to this book to bring be back to reality.
It offers great activities to do that won’t break the bank, are completely do-able and stage appropriate. Most importantly, they are activities that are fun, easy to do that always seem to leave me smiling and feeling that much closer to baby. Plus, they don’t leave you feeling as if you are following some regimented developmental guideline.
From the first few pages, Heather and Whitney gently coax you out of that cocoon of post partum new mommyhood. Let’s face it, if you are like me, you read enough books about pregnancy, labor and delivery, baby gear and baby safety to write your own little reference guide. What friends don’t tell you is that you should have been spending that time on reading or illiciting advice from veteran moms on the big job. The big job ain’t carrying the baby nor is it delivering the baby but what to do after the baby arrives.
I may have delivered my precious baby in July but in August I was still feeling the effects of the anesthesia of being a new mom. “Now What?” may be the title of my blog but that was my literal mantra during those early post partum weeks. You become so overwhelmed, the easiest thing to do is to hermitize. Not only do you lock yourself into your own world, you begin to lose grasp of your own self. The activities Heather and Whitney suggest in RMH help you regain your sense of self and bond with your baby.
I received this book a bit late in my new mommyhood but reading back on the activities, which are categorized by month, made me smile and wish I had this book sooner. For the next 6 months, I plan to journal an activity based on a suggestion from their book or website. If you haven’t checked the website out yet, do so and add it to your favorites. It’s filled with great activities for you and kid and all moms, SAHM and WM, can do them.
I recently completed #125: Be a Dad for a day. This challenge was interpreted to mean, drop my to do lists and my checklists and just chill. For one day, I stopped being the Girl Scout Matron, packing for all contingencies . So what if I don’t have extra mittens or an entire parka in my gigantic bag. I grabbed my ergo carrier, packed baby in, grabbed 3 diapers and some wipes and went out sans diaper bag. I walked around, did errands, stopped and checked out little shops and let time slip by. I stopped obsessing about nap times, feed times and diaper changes and just meandered my way through the day. It felt actually liberating. I browsed aisles at the local stores and chatted it up on my cell phone with a friend while BG came along for the ride and took occasional naps. I came home feeling less like a Sherpa and more like a mom confident that she can be a carefree, devil may care mom, at least for a day.