Hey you with the new baby… you’re doing awesome.

Posted on | June 9, 2014 | 1 Comment

When I was a new mom, and I mean a BRAND SPANKING NEW mom, I was convinced I was the worst mother ever to walk the planet. I just knew I was thinking all the wrong things, feeling all the wrong things, and in general doing every single thing 100% wrong. Because no one told me I wasn’t. No one took the time, other than my awesome sister, to tell me that it was normal to think and feel and do all those “wrong things” I was thinking and feeling and doing. And as I look around my office, filled to the brim with VERY pregnant women, I couldn’t help but think about how much I needed someone to tell me that I was doing it just right.

So if you’re a new mom, let me hopefully not be the first to tell you that you are doing awesome right now. And the things you’re thinking/feeling/doing are all (probably) perfectly normal. What things? Glad you asked.

1. It is perfectly normal to have fleeting thoughts of hating your child. It is. Trust me. You don’t actually hate your baby and it doesn’t make you a bad mother. You have just brought in a permanent house guest and they are NOT obeying any of the etiquette rules for house guests. They don’t let you sleep. They may be leaving your nipples raw and ragged. They scream and cry incessantly but never tell you what is wrong. If they were not your child, you would have kicked them out within an hour of their arrival so OF COURSE you wish they weren’t there. This is all new. And it’s perfectly normal to wish they weren’t there at all. Did you actually throw them out with the trash? No? Then you’re awesome. I spent many a night pacing the floor, bouncing my child on my chest and bawling my eyes out, chanting “don’t hurt the baby. don’t hurt the baby.” Because being a new mom is tiring. And these strange little mostly-bald creatures just. won’t. stop. crying. It’s okay to have moments of fear/anger/frustration/hatred. It’s normal to have those moments. If you don’t have those moments… that’s okay, too, I’m just not sure we can be friends.  (Of course, if those moments are more than fleeting you should talk to your doctor because PPD/PPA is for real and shouldn’t be swept under the rug.)

2. It doesn’t matter how you feed your child. Honestly. I feel like I should say this three times in bold. Breastfeeding? Good for you. Bottle feeding? Great job. Is. Your. Child. Getting. Nourished? Then you’re awesome. Period. No matter what the hell else anyone else says or does or makes you feel. You are feeding your child and that makes you a good mother. Not everyone can breastfeed, no matter what people want you to believe. Not everyone can do it. That’s why formula was invented, folks.

3. No one knows what those cries mean. When J was little and would cry, everyone would tell me what was wrong. “Sounds like he needs a change!” “Sounds like someone is hungry.” And all I wanted to do was should “SOUNDS LIKE YOU SHOULD SHUT UP!” Because all his cries sounded alike. He was crying. Yes, I know, he was probably dirty or hungry or tired or not a Katy Perry fan, but dammit, I didn’t know which one it was. And odds are, neither do they. So don’t beat yourself up because you don’t know the difference between a “tired cry” and a “hungry cry.” If you try to figure it out without throwing the baby against the wall and screaming “WHAT THE EFF DO YOU WANT” then you, my friend, are awesome.

4. Poop is without explanation. This is kind of a big one, for me, because I remember people telling me that the color of my kid’s crap could indicate problems. I don’t remember who told me this, but if I could go back in time and punch them in the face, I probably would. Because my kid pooped in rainbows. Sometimes I swear he created new and unexplainable colors. Sometimes he didn’t poop at all for several days and I had to put Vaseline on a thermometer and “jiggle it” in his butt (even though SOMEONE told me that if he didn’t mind it probably meant he was gay and 1. who the eff cares and 2. really? You’re going to tell a new mom that?).  So don’t spend too much time worrying if the poop looks like he ate straight grape jelly, or candied apples, or whatever else. It’s going to be inexplicably multi-colored at times. As long as he/she isn’t pooping blood, you’re probably okay. And side note? If it LOOKS like he/she is pooping blood… check and see if it’s a side effect of a medication they are on so you don’t freak your freak and call poison control. Trust me. That’s not fun and you will carry a chip on your shoulder against your physician at least until your child is almost five.

5. All babies are different. This is crucial for you to remember during those moments when your well-meaning “friend” with the two month old comes over and says “Is he still crying every night/not sleeping 8 hours/feeding at 2am/not reading the Wall Street Journal? Mine was at that age…” They don’t mean to be rude… they’re just crappy people. No, honestly… they are. Anyone who tries to compare your child to theirs to your face deserves one of those yellow-y green-ish poop diapers smeared on their head. Pay them no mind. This is YOUR child, not theirs. And YOUR child will do things at his/her own pace. This is crucial to remember as they grow, too… though oh so hard in this Facebook world of “Little Max took his first steps! And at only three months!” If your child is loved and fed and changed and loved and yes I said loved twice… then you are awesome. End of sentence. End of paragraph. End of story.

Because being a new mom is 99% survival and 1% sanity/knowledge/serenity/peace. And as long as you can eek out that 1% somehow?

You are awesome.

Comments

One Response to “Hey you with the new baby… you’re doing awesome.”

  1. Abby
    June 10th, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

    This. All of it. THANK YOU.

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