Disclaimer: I am, by no means, a professional in terms of psychology, doctoring, or even giving advice. My intent is to only share my trials, tribulations, and experiments in Mommy-dom.
I enjoy my son and all of the new experiences, good or bad that come our way. I spend a lot of time trying to make sure that he's growing and progressing towards his milestones, properly.
This brings us to my first observation.
1. Despite the fact that Ethan is a preemie with a 4 week adjusted age, he does not seem to fall on any particular scale that will give a rating of "normal". He doesn't exactly fit into the profile of a 3 month old (adjusted age) or a 4 month old (actual age). I worry all the time that he will somehow have a disadvantage or an issue because of his early arrival. It's even more anxiety-inducing when you see other children around the same age and they appear to be doing "better" than your child. Try not to fret too much over what other people's children are doing; because more than likely, you're doing a very fine job.
This leads very nicely to another observation that I had and one that I'm afraid, I'm also guilty of.
2. People will brag and talk up what their child is doing. The most challenging thing about this is, it can feel like a rather passive aggressive judgement on your child. This one has two points. Firstly, it's important to be proud of your little tyke, and to share this pride with others, unfortunately, it can be a bit overwhelming for parents of a child who is not meeting milestones. It can even begin to feel like a contest. Your baby is not in a contest with any other baby, at least as long as you're not entering them, literally, into contests. Secondly, as a parent who sometimes feels like everything is a competition, try to remember, IT IS NOT A COMPETITION. I think it's necessary to make sure that you're not taking someone elses pride in a way that it's not intended.
3. There is not a rule book. I feel that this is the most annoying stumbling block to being a parent. There are almost too many resources at your fingertips. Websites, Pediatricians, hospitals, other parents, "retired" parents (children are all grown and gone), books, news reports, and people without any experience at all are all willing and happy to share their advice and judgements with you. Unfortunately, there isn't one single resource that is 100%, absolutely correct. I find that, even amongst Pediatricians there is disagreement around all of the various parental hotspots and faux pas. It even feels like Science and research do not really agree. It's a potential minefield of guilt, doubt, and insanity. It seems, so far, that taking all of the various information into account and then mashing them together works fairly well for me.
These observations are merely meant to show my personal experience with having a baby and wandering through
I think that I will try and post more regulary about this whole parenting gig and I will also do my best to be more specific, as I figure things out. For example, my son has learned to roll over onto his stomach, from his back, unfortunately for my sleep duration, he has not learned to roll back. This means that he squirms, wiggles, and grunts himself onto his side and then his belly before waking up with an angry wail. I have tried propping him against the side of his crib. This does not work, as he just tries to roll and then smacks his little noggin, repeatedly against the bars. Then I tried to put him to sleep on his belly. This sort of worked, but it's a WIP (work in progress) for now. I will update with little events such as these for your reading pleasure, my own tracking system, and maybe even for a sense of comfort for other parents with these same silly, but very real struggles.