New Moms Are Relating Hard to This Overbearing Mother's Baby Care "Dissertation"
I love my wife. I love how she focuses on the little details and is a neat freak and genuinely enjoys being organized. I love how exacting she is with taking care of our kids and the little snack packs she tucks away for them on family outings and how conscientious and detail-oriented she is. It's a perfect foil to my Type B, meat-and-potatoes attitude toward life.
But there are times where I have to admit it can be a bit much.
For example: we're going on a short weekend trip to Los Angeles, leaving Friday night and returning early Monday morning. We have two children. Our son, the oldest will be staying with my mother-in-law for the most part, who lives a 3-mile drive away. My mother will be staying in our apartment and looking after our 8-month daughter for three nights.
My mother has raised four children. We're all still alive. She's also the oldest of eight siblings, whom she also pretty much raised until she got married.
But yes, each kid is different and yes, every kid has their own preferences. And when you're a concerned parent leaving your baby for the first time since she was born, you want to have some peace of mind. So you leave your caretaker with some emergency contact information, maybe even the names and numbers of close friends who can offer backup. A few tips about recent likes or dislikes your baby's developed.
That's exactly what my wife did... for six whole pages.
I noticed her typing away one night before bed and, when I got a peek at what she was writing, I immediately lost it. I begged her to share it with me and told her she needed to put it up on Instagram immediately. She laughed and blushed a bit, but decided to go ahead and showcase her extraness.
I mean, this document has tables. Different fonts with different colors...
Her Instagram story had screenshots of all the pages. There was a contingency plan for every situation. She even put the brand names for the lotions and baby formulas and bottles she uses. My wife isn't an influencer. She doesn't get paid to put this stuff up. This is just how granular she gets with all of her instructions.
I'd also like to add that she has multiple versions of this document posted around the house.
I love how the "Miscellaneous" section is a single-spaced, full page of information. She's an 8-month old baby. Give her something safe to chew on. If she cries, see if she's hungry, needs to be burped, needs to be changed, or wants to be put down for a nap. Play with her and show her cool things throughout the day to keep her mind stimulated.
And she's not just over-prepared when it comes to writing stuff out. Behold:
She left enough breast milk to feed the Mad Max Fury Road villains for an entire month, let alone a single baby for a weekend. Then there the "solid" foods she prepared. It's no wonder I gained 25lbs after I started dating her — extra weight I'm still trying to lose till this day. Here's hoping our kids have better self control than I do.
I was expecting a lot of her friends to laugh, and there was certainly a fair amount of that. But she also got a ton of positive responses from friends and moms who not only applauded how detailed she was, but even asked for a copy of the document themselves!
In Mariam's defense, I do think my mom will definitely peruse some of the stuff she wrote there, like how to prepare the formula if she needs it. But is she going to be running to the plastered pages of the document over the changing table and above her crib, and in the kitchen? Or the stapled, complete 6-page document on our dining room table? No.
Also, shout-out to her one friend who was very real about how her mother would react to such a voluminous document.
I'm surprised so many people found our daughter's regimen useful, but it really shouldn't shock me. My wife got her master's degree in food and nutrition science, even if she doesn't always follow her own advice and constantly tempts me away from whatever diet plan I've committed myself to following.
Despite all of this over-preparation, I know she's still worried about leaving our little girl behind and, if I'm being honest, I'm freaking out a bit, too.
Not enough to go and re-write War and Peace, but still.