As if postpartum anxiety didn’t pose enough blatant challenges, the pressure from society surrounding baby schedules creates the perfect niche of manifestation. During a time of life where control is seemingly unattainable, there’s an appealing notion that the struggle can be countered by conforming your life to follow a structured schedule that allows for little to no error. As you enter motherhood, it becomes your responsibility to guard and guide your baby through their developmental stages. You are their advocate, and the pillar upon which they lean. As empowering as this is in theory, the reality becomes daunting when you hardly know where much less how to stand and offer the support for them to rest upon.
Seemingly, upon the birth of your baby you’re pressured to constantly pick a lane and stay in it; from bottle or breast, independent sleep with strict wake windows or contact naps at their leisure, baby-led weaning or strictly purées, the list is seemingly endless. At the end of the day you’re understandably overwhelmed by the constant need to research and read the pros and cons; asking your mom friends and weighing their contrasting feedback each drenched in judgement towards the opposing ideals…it’s exhausting!
Perhaps you’ve observed the evolution of moms, as they grow from stereotypically uptight first timers, overwhelmed by the anxiety surrounding strict schedules and milestones; overtime and seemingly with the addition of each child they relax and embrace the resiliency of their children. Suddenly the sight of their child eating dirt is no longer met with an immediate wipe to the mouth, but rather a shrug of the shoulders and a nod to their developing immune system. Their third child hardly ever naps in his crib but rather falls asleep despite his environment, and the mom has peace in the “chaos” because her routine suits her family and favors their individual needs in each season.
All that to say, there is a season to be an overprotective and hyper-aware mom researching to the point you could write a thesis on child development. However, I encourage you to filter what you learn and regardless of what you choose to apply to your schedule, account for flexibility and lenience. Truly seek to find what works for you, and expect that this will change over time. Above all, continue to give grace to your babe, grace to your partner, and grace to yourself; you’re all learning and it’s overwhelming!