The Babymoon

The Babymoon

The Babymoon

What comes after the triumph of birth and the very first meal? When an athlete is named MVP of the Super Bowl, his next stop is a celebration trip to a famous theme park. When a couple gets married, they often enjoy a honeymoon to celebrate their new relationship. A friend of mine named Ann Douglas, a parenting author chock full of practical wisdom, recommends a babymoon to celebrate your new family.

I like her name for this important idea. On a honeymoon, the couple sets aside ordinary responsibilities to focus on enjoying each other and building a foundation of closeness for the years ahead. During a babymoon, the couple likewise sets aside other work and home responsibilities to focus on learning about and establishing the new family. Both can be magical, unique times, building memories to last a lifetime.

But I contend that a honeymoon and a babymoon are also very different. While honeymooning, your time is spent on some combination of intimacy, adventure, relaxation, and indulgence. It’s a very special kind of vacation. But on a babymoon, time is spent in the seemingly ceaseless cycle of the most basic bodily tasks, feeding and burping and changing diapers. It’s a very special kind of work.

A honeymoon is a going out, a break from day to day life. A babymoon is a drawing in, a narrowing, a concentration on the very core of day to day life. And as you get to know each other in the mundane, you grow a new dimension, a new depth.

One of my vivid memories from childhood (back before DVD’s and Tivo), is watching The Wizard of Oz on TV. (Don’t tell – I used to hide behind the couch during the flying monkeys.) I remember my wonder at the sudden transition from the dull, sepia beige landscape of Kansas to the dazzling 3-strip Technicolor of Oz. And I had mixed feelings about Dorothy’s insistent longing to leave the boldly colorful magical land, as she repeated, ‘There’s no place like home.’

A babymoon is entering Oz and Kansas rolled into one. It’s learning to see you’re a hero on a quest, while stuck in one place with a burp cloth on your shoulder. It’s finding vibrant color and magic in the everyday world of home.

This is an excerpt from: From First Kicks to First Steps: Nurturing Your Babys Development from Pregnancy Through the First Year of Life, McGraw-Hill, 2004, Pp. 197-198

Dr. Alan Greene

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Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

 

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