Monday, 8 August 2016

Life Update

Apart from all the flat-buying drama, life has been quiet around here recently. My Facebook feed is full of other people's holiday photos from across Europe, from Bulgaria to Iceland, and I've been trying hard not to become frustrated at still being in Paris while my friends are off having adventures. This mostly involves Super-Cool Baby and me going off for our own adventures, usually discovering new parks. Having walked the Promenade Plantée, strolled in the Bois de Vincennes, toured the Lac Daumesnil and picnicked in the Parc Montsouris, I scanned Google maps for evidence of other accessible green spaces and picked out the Parc Kellermann in the 13th. It's not a very big park, but it has a high part and a lower part with a waterfall in between, and I always thing a bit of geographical relief makes things a bit more interesting. (In fact, when you're there with a buggy it can almost as adventurous as hiking in Bulgaria or sailing in Iceland. Honestly ...)

When not strolling around parks, I've been spending a lot of time of the sofa surfing the web one-handed, which has consequently got me thinking about the value of the internet and how different life might be without it. I wrote a little while ago about how while there are things about looking after a new baby which are hard, we have yet to find anything surprisingly hard. A big part of this is that so far we've been very lucky to have a baby who eats well, sleeps well and is generally healthy, for which we are massively grateful, but I think it's also down to what our expectations of parenting were beforehand. When I change my clothes and the baby's for the second or third time in the day after a series of milk- or nappy-related incidents, I know that this is par for the course.  If we spend several hours pacing up and down the flat holding her in the latest (and inevitably awkward) anti-colic position, we know that others have been there too. And when I leave her to cry for a few extra minutes because I want to finish getting something done, I know that this is not being a bad mother, but a normal, realistic one.

I think that this is largely down to the internet. In real life, people will tell you that having kids is hard and especially that you'll never sleep again, but they don't often go into the details of how and why. On the internet, I feel that people talk more honestly about their experiences, their mistakes, and particularly their guilt, and it's also a great source of advice and suggestions, available at all hours of the day, including the wee small ones. It's very similar, in fact, to the way expat/immigrant/living abroad blogs can be a helpful source of information about the reality behind the dream while at the same time keeping us inspired by reminding us of what makes it all worthwhile.

So, to finish with, here are a few recommendations for those who might be interested of sites to surf one handed as you balance your baby in the Tiger in the Tree position and gently jiggle your knee at just the right frequency to keep those colicky screams at bay:

La Leche League , Kellymom and Breastfeeding Support all have far more detail about breastfeeding than you're likely to pick up at the maternity hospital.

The Infant Sleep Source has information about what is normal in terms of baby sleep and research on sleep-training methods.

This page has great tips for soothing a crying baby.

Mumsnet has loads of information and a discussion forum about all aspects of parenting. Most sections of the forum are full of good advice, but if you're just looking for entertainment, try the Am I Being Unreasonable? section to reassure yourself of how normal your really are.

Selfish Mother and The Motherload both combine useful information with healthy realism and a strong dose of humour.

1 comment:

  1. Summer in Paris sounds pretty good! I haven't been to that park before. It looks nice, with the water lilies and pond.