January 29, 2007


Our first winter retreat was this past weekend and it went a lot more smoothly than I expected. With 139 in attendance, I was a little nervous. This upcoming weekend we only have 47 plus staff, so that will be a nice break! Last night after everyone had gone home I crashed. Honestly, I was ready to turn in my resignation. Not because it was a difficult weekend, but just because I was hormonal, emotional and felt really old. I made the mistake of reading the evaluations immediately after everyone left and I have a tendency to dwell on the criticism rather than the compliments (and the compliments far outweighed the criticism). I'm doing a lot better today and feeling a lot more stable. I've read that if possible, you should never make important, life-altering decisions while you're pregnant. I'm beginning to see why.

Speaking of reading, most of you know that I've been doing a lot of it. I've read a lot of books on babies and pregnancy. I want to be informed. I joke around a lot about how I'm going to ruin this baby by reading so much (which I honestly don't think is true), but that's how I approach everything in life. I want as much information as I can possibly gather. I know that information and knowledge can never outweigh common sense and instinct (especially when it comes to parenting), but doesn't it make sense to know as much as you can before you have a baby, even if it proves not to be true for you? I don't plan on using these books as bibles, but just as guides for when I need guidance. Maybe I need to keep what I'm learning to myself. No one has directly criticized me for it, but I think a few people wonder if I've taken my research to far.

I've gotten tired of people telling me how it will or won't be after the baby's born, as if they've already met my baby or know what kind of parents Kyle and I will be. I know it's all well-meaning, but even I have no idea what this little boy will be like (or even when he'll come), so I don't even pretend to be able to plan out the first 6 weeks of his life right now. It seems that everyone assumes that my experience will be exactly like theirs or that I'm going into parenthood blind. Kyle and I have to learn as we go just like everyone else does. I appreciate hearing how other people have done it. I especially value it from my friends who have had children recently, though they're more careful not to say anything because they've had people over-advise them and are worried they'll do the same thing. Every situation is different.

Kyle and I are unique parents having a unique baby and I know we'll be great parents with our own unique parenting style. I'm ok when people say, "You might want to consider . . ." or "When my child was born . . . " It's just frustrating when people say, "You have to . . ." or "You can't . . ." or speak as if we're complete idiots who don't know that it takes a lot of work to have a newborn. We're not naive. I'm just having to learn how to tune people out.

If I didn't know better, I'd say that my son has taken up kickboxing. He's gotten a lot stronger and much more active over the last few days. Granted, I allowed myself a little more caffeine than usual over the weekend so that may add to it. Last night, Kyle felt him kick for the first time. Up until this point, every time I called Kyle to come feel, the baby would stop. Last night he finally was there at the right time. I think Kyle's exact words were,"So he does like me."

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