Leaning in Relaxed Parenting

01 May 2017

It a little after midnight and I've just finished feeding my son a bottle of milk. As I alternately rubbed and bumped his back waiting for him to burp, I studied the his face indulgently - the contours of his cheek, his pouty lips, the way he creases his eyebrows whenever a thump startles him from his almost-asleep state. It was past midnight and I was tired and I should and want to be asleep but here I sit instead, leisurely falling in love with my son.

I was surprised when I realized that this emotion felt new to me. Didn't I go through this with the twins? Do I love my son more than my daughters?

Actually no!

It's instead the answer to the question people always ask me "Is it easier taking care of one baby versus two at the same time?" My answer is no, it's not easier. Surviving on 4 hours of sleep in a night feels the same on my body regardless of how many babies I'm taking care of. Regarding taking care of one baby versus two, both are physically draining especially in this initial newborn stage.

What IS different for me though is that the frenzied, rigidly-disciplined mode I operated in with the girls is missing now. I was so scared of being overwhelmed with tiredness while taking care of the twins that all my actions with them in the newborn stage were geared towards being super-efficient almost to the point of being mechanical. I didn't have time to stop and smell their little black curls of hair or tickle their tummies during night feedings because I needed to feed the other baby and catch as much sleep NOW before the next feeding. With my singleton baby (and also being an experienced mom AND knowing that this is my last biological baby), I'm definitely on the slower path of parenting. You could say that I'm stopping to smell the baby roses on this path. That's one of the things I savour about having one baby to care for instead of two.

Here's to enjoying the rest of the week.

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