An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Sunday, March 20, 2005  

Baby management overdose

Despite my attempts to be a cool earth mother relaxed type, the routine-police made their mark and I ended up reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, The Baby Whisperer for Toddlers and the tantalizingly titled The Baby Whisperer Solves all your Problems. The Baby Whisperer by the way was Tracey Hogg who died in November from skin cancer. She was only in her forties. Anyway, she's a relaxed Gina Ford. Gina Ford for the unititiated is author of The Contented Baby. She's big on the clock. Or so I am told by Contented readers. In new mommy world there are the Whisperers and the Contenteds. Both books are read by professional types like myself who in true post-modern style shun our mothers' advice and consult experts on how to rear our children.

Having overdosed on these manuals I ended up obsessed by timings, routines, second guessing every move, forming strategies to eliminate night feeds, cursed with unrealistic expectations and generally applying management techniques to the baby and wondering why they weren't working. Fortunately before things got completely out of hand, my eyes were opened and I realised that a) my baby is really good and nice and never cries so why was I inventing problems that needed to be solved by the book just so my life could be a bit easier and b) my life would be a lot easier if I just fed the child when he wanted instead of when I wanted.
And guess what, now that I don't spend my entire day (and night) planning and thinking and strategising...things are easier. I think reaching this point is always difficult for us modern women who have worked in offices where research is done, best practice is applied and results achieved. Little babies are not machines but we seem to spend more time managing them than enjoying them. It's almost like we expect them to be Borg and if they don't conform it's a big problem. All the fault of the capitalist system of course. Altho, I'm sure I would like 6 hours straight sleep at some point in the future. Maybe in a month or two.

posted by Sarah | 21:30 1 comments
How apt that you declare such management a waste of time on the day, more or less (the 21st) that (we learn from the Times of London):

Frederick Winslow Taylor, whose "principles of scientific management, set down in his book of 1911, still underlie modern mass-production methods, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1915;
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