I’m looking forward to working with clients as a postpartum doula. The role is quite flexible depending on your needs, but the focus is on supporting the mother (whatever that might mean to her) during the first 3 months with a new baby (also known as the “fourth trimester”). Set aside your other concerns so you can bond with your baby, learn each other’s patterns, and adapt to your new normal. A postpartum doula will also help you figure out your parenting style, so you feel more confident as you step into parenthood or a bigger family. Let’s talk!
Dear Jonah and Leo,
Leo, you turned one about 6 weeks ago and I’ve been unsuccessfully meaning to complete this letter to you. You are an absolute delight. You are now toddling happily around the house in that great Frankenbaby / zombie baby style that new walking babies do. You still have just four teeth. You laugh a lot, especially at your big brother. I can’t get enough of you. You look so much like your uncle Mike and Papa and Gigi– the fair side of the family! I love listening to your babbles. You love music. And books. And playing. And you still love being held a lot. I still have to put you in the baby backpack most days so that you are happy while I prep our breakfast. You sometimes cry Monday mornings when suddenly everyone is leaving for work and school. You’ve been mostly sleeping through the night, which is nice. I wish you’d sleep later, of course, but I guess that will come. You love to eat, but really just want to feed yourself, which is very different from how Jonah was.
At the end of October, there was a huge hurricane that hit much of the eastern seaboard and left a lot of damage in NYC. We were very lucky to be unaffected and got to enjoy a nice week together. The country finally decided to think seriously about climate change. Well, at least to talk about it– a huge and painfully overdue step. But will we actually change in time?
We were a big hit on Halloween in our Wizard of Oz costumes.
Then in early November, Barack Obama was re-elected. Your father and I and just over half of the country and 99% of the world breathed a sigh of relief.
Then today, December 14, there was an awful horrible tragedy in our neighboring state of Connecticut. Someone went into an elementary school and murdered nearly 20 children and several adults. The country is reeling. I couldn’t concentrate at work– I was obsessively watching the news unfold online. I was scared the whole way coming home, and couldn’t wait to see you both and hold and breathe in my sons. I hope the grieving families know that the nation, the world, are sending them love and light, that we’re grieving with them. They have a long painful road ahead. I hope our country will do justice to the memory of their children and neighbors and commit to more sensible gun laws and better support and help and nurturing for those with mental health problems. It seems like the least we can do. We can’t bring their babies back.
I hope that by the time you are grown and reading this, you won’t be able to believe that such a thing was able to happen. You won’t be able to fathom it. I hope.
You didn’t know today was any different as we lit the Hannukah candles, read stories, I tucked you in and reminded you of how very much you are loved. And maybe it isn’t for us. Others aren’t so lucky.
This evening I had to cut off a hangnail for Jonah (he’s 4.5 years old). I’d noticed recently that he was mimicing my bad habit of picking at my cuticles. Kids are little mirrors– they pick up EVERYTHING, good and bad, and do it for you. Of course I try telling him, “No, Jonah, that’s a bad habit. I know I do it all the time and we shouldn’t do it. Here, instead you can play with your toy or cuddle this stuffed animal. Try to catch yourself and stop. I’ll try, too.” Of course this sparked a discussion of why and I ended up having to define cuticle. I think he got the gist.
Easier said than done, and we know the whole “do as I say but not as I do” stuff never works. I guess it is good as it reminds me of what I need to work on, too.
What about you? What bad habits of yours do you see your kids picking up and how do you try to address it?