A glimpse at family life

It’s Sunday and L won’t be back until late tonight. I think I should take advantage of this time to tidy up my stuff, so I took out all the bags and shoes and I don’t even know what that I had at the bottom of my wardrobe and in my drawers and put them on the bed and floor of the bedroom. And now I should go through all of them and sort them… I expect to be able to throw away quite a few things, but then I need to find a proper place for anything else. And obviously I don’t feel like doing it… so I’m taking a break to update my blog 🙂

Yesterday was an interesting day. I went to the dentist and everything was ok – I had never been to this dentist before and I was a bit nervous, but it’s a nice place and the dentist is friendly-good!

However I woke up feeling a bit light-headed, after breakfast I was preparing a cake and I had to sit down; same at the dentist when I was filling the forms before the appointment. After lunch I felt better, but still I tried to sit down whenever I could. The plan was to spend the day with Friend and her 3 year old daughter. They were invited to a birthday party in the early afternoon, so I went along with them.

The party was in the hall of a church near my place, so the children had lots of space to run and play; an entertainer played with them and after a while there was some food and cakes-overall from 12.30 to 3pm. I didn’t know anyone, apart from Friend and her husband, and I was the only one without children, so I didn’t interact much, also considering that I wasn’t feeling very energetic. I observed the people and the kids though: the parents were busy looking after the children and networking (especially mums); the girls mostly followed the games, while the boys would play with the others only to run away from time to time and start chasing each other at the back of the room! Some of the mums let them go, some others took them back to the main area, and when I asked one of them why, she said because the party is there and he needs to understand that.

Friends’ daughter was very shy at the beginning, stuck to her parents legs… it took her a hour or more to start playing with the other kids on her own, but then she was perfectly integrated in the party.

I got bored, but the alternative was to be alone at home, and it was good to have a look at a life with kids, so never mind! We went for a walk in town after the party, and HerFriend joined us.  We all had dinner at Friend’s place and then she gave me some clothes I could use for Pallino and I went home.

One of the discussions we had over dinner was about parenting and the difference between our generation and our parents: we all read about it and try to learn from books, while our parents thought it was something instinctive-already now my mum tells me that I’m making it too complicated by reading books and I should ‘go with the flow’. However we spend most of our time not following our instincts, so how can we suddenly do that without hesitation when we have a baby? And also many people, like me, are away from their family when they have their first child, and this means we don’t have the examples that our parents might have had when they were young. Most of my friends live in other parts of Europe and they got married in the last two years, after finishing their studies and finding jobs, and only very few of them have children yet. And we are all in our thirties: my mum’s world was different.

HerFriend thinks that this is the reason why nowadays we try and listen to our babies and learn what they need from them, rather than being more firm: in the old days, mums new what the baby needed more, or had experience anyway, while we don’t and we need to learn from the babies.

I don’t know yet and this is something I will have to come back to in the future. However I think that in this way we are undermining the advances in medicine and psycology in the last 30 years of so: it’s true that nature is still the same, but we are aware of many more cause-effect links in our lives and the way we bring up our children should reflect this as well. And the books we are reading help us gaining some of that understanding. I’m not convinced that the “good old days” were actually better than the present.

Also, this is how I am: I need to understand the “why”, and reading is my preferred way of learning, so it would not be enough for me to do something “because this is what you do”… but neither I accept everything I read unconditionally: writers are people like us, biased by their own experience. Will any of this be useful when the baby is here? Hopefully I will have done most of the background work, and I will be able to enjoy the experience and… go with the flow!

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