We are heading off up the Coast for a little Summer break and I'm nervous.
This is not the first time we have been away with BabyB-B. When she was just five months old we did three weddings, over three consecutive weekends, in three States. Those were short breaks and, save for one, we were in our own accommodation and left to our own devices. This time we will be sharing accommodation at each stop. This is why I'm nervous.
First stop: Mum's house. I'm least worried about this stop. We spent a weekend there when BabyB-B was just eight weeks old. Mum had lovingly set up a sleeping space for her granddaughter in my old bedroom. However, I had other ideas. BabyB-B would be sharing my sister's old room with us. Mum was none too pleased about the idea, but went along with us. Last week Mum called me to ask whether BabyB-B would be sharing a room with us again and offered us her larger bedroom for this purpose. I'm not exactly sure how the sleeping arrangements will work out while we are there. It will either be BabyB-B in the room with us, or me and BabyB-B in my old bed. No matter how it goes I'm confident that Mum will go along with what we decide to do.
My Mum has constantly surprised me on my parenting journey thus far. While I was pregnant with BabyB-B she constantly referred to the "good little routine" my sister had her son on from about four weeks of age. This played no small part in forming my thoughts that this was what you were meant to do with babies. If you've read this blog you will know that this is not really how I've chosen to go with BabyB-B. Instead, we follow her rhythm.
I've discussed many of my parenting ideas with Mum. She knows how I feel about controlled crying/crying it out and she said it wasn't for her either, she's on board with baby led weaning and is definitely from the breast is best school of thought. I now believe that her references to my nephew's good little routine was said in support of my sister's choices. She frequently tells me that whatever we are doing she can tell we are doing the right thing by how happy and relaxed BabyB-B is. Following our discussions I know that she supports me in the parenting choices we have made with BabyB-B even if she doesn't necessarily agree with all of them.
Next stop: holiday house with friends. Four couples, two children, one house. My anxiety level raises slightly when thinking about this stop. Don't get me wrong, I cannot wait to spend a few days with some of our best friends. I'm just a bit nervous about the reception our parenting style will receive.
One of the couples coming along has a toddler. They are far more experienced than we are at this whole parenting caper. They've been doing it for a while longer than us and they have given us much well meaning advice. This is why I'm worried - I have chosen to follow not much of it. I am expecting a big fat "I told you so" when BabyB-B is rocked and fed to sleep at night. I was cautioned not to fall in to this trap when she was only a couple of weeks old. I am cautious as to how this soothing to sleep method, my sensitivities to her crying, her sensitivities to napping and our BLW will be received. At the end of the day these people are our friends and I know that any advice is given with the best of intentions. I just have to remember to have the confidence to stand up for our decisions.
Last stop: serviced apartments with the in-laws. Two apartments, three children, seven adults. My anxiety level skyrockets at the thought of this one. My track record on family holidays with the in-laws is not great. DaddyB-B is the youngest of three boys. The eldest brother is based in LA, is single and has come home to visit. The middle brother is based here, is married with a five year old daughter and a two and half year old son. My parents-in-law thought it would be lovely to have a family holiday while their eldest son is in town. There are a lot of personalities to fit in to two small apartments. (Not least of all my own, which seems to have become stronger since the arrival of BabyB-B -picture mama bear and cub!)
My brother-in-law and his wife parent quite differently to DaddyB-B and I. They also permit quite a different level of grandparent involvement when it comes to the children. This makes me quite nervous as DaddyB-B and I are not content to let his parents just take over. We are happy for them to enjoy their granddaughter. That is what grandparents should do. However, we prefer to remain in control (well as in control as you can be with an almost eight month old). Cue personality clashes!
DaddyB-B and I have had many discussions about the differing parenting styles between us and his brother and sister-in-law. I suspect we will probably dance our way around many of the issues. I am yet to think of an appropriate response when faced with the "when you have two" type argument.
Recent events have made it clear that DaddyB-B's parents aren't quite as across our parenting style as we thought. For instance, my mother- in-law is not at all comfortable with BLW and my father-in-law still likes to park BabyB-B in front of the television (my strong no TV for under twos stance is not shared by the rest of the family). There also seems to be a minor obsession with how often BabyB-B wakes throughout the night.
In all honesty I probably sparked the obsession after recounting to my mother-in-law a discussion I had with a nurse when I was feeling particularly exhausted. BabyB-B had been waking more frequently than usual and I was told that she was at an age where she could probably be resettled without the breast. The nurse was at pains to emphasise that she wasn't suggesting CC or CIO be used. Rather, she was suggesting DaddyB-B give her a bit of a cuddle to see if that would work (it doesn't). Anyway, there is now an intense interest in the frequency of BabyB-B's night wakings. DaddyB-B and I now deflect questioning on this subject. However, this will be difficult to do when we are all under the same roof!
I truly hope that none of the scenes I am playing in my mind play out during the course of our Summer holiday. I hope I am worrying about nothing. There's just this sneaking feeling that I am not. Watch this space!
No matter what comes to pass, I am determined that DaddyB-B, BabyB-B and I will enjoy our first family Summer holiday.