“You’re very calm for a new mother.”
Those were the words I heard from the doctor when I took my 1 week old son in for a checkup.
And there have been similar comments, such as: “You look very at ease for this being your first.” “You’re a very relaxed mom.” etc.
Yeah, well….. You think that, if it gives you comfort. I must be good at fooling people.
Sure, I have lots of childcare experience. I helped raise 5 younger siblings and did a bit of babysitting on the side. I started learning how to take care of babies as a small 7-year-old, when my first little brother was born. My mom even taught me how to change cloth diapers. (with diaper pins and everything!) I’ve experienced raising kids from birth all the way through the teen years. I wasn’t going into this blind.
But you didn’t see me at 4:00am standing next to my baby’s little bed as he lay naked, cold, and inconsolable under the bili light. No one saw me standing there for more than 2 hours straight, exhausted from labor/childbirth and lack of sleep, my feet and back in pain… crying, angry, and heartbroken as I tried to comfort him the best I could without picking him up.
You didn’t see me sitting Indian style in the floor rocking back and forth like I belonged in a psychiatric ward, cuddling my newborn with tears streaming down my face because he keeps spitting up and I don’t know why.
You don’t see me frustrated because it takes me 3 times as long to get ready when I need to leave the house, many times just wanting to give up and stay home.
You don’t see me driving with one arm awkwardly reaching into the back seat to hold his pacifier in his mouth because he keeps losing it and screaming.
And so on……………….
You think I have it all under control? Think again.