Hello! I’m Sara from Running from the Law. I’m an attorney living in St. Louis, a runner, a shopper, a foodie, and most importantly, a new mom. I’m honored that Natasha asked me to guest post on her blog while she’s home taking care of her new little bundle of joy. I’m mom to a baby boy with a husband named Ryan, so Natasha and I are basically twins. Anyway, my son Mac was born May 20th and just turned 7 weeks old. It’s been so much fun sharing our pregnancy experiences over the past 9 months and I look forward to sharing baby/toddler stories over the next few years.
Ever since Natasha asked me to share a “mommy moment” with you guys, I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with the perfect topic to discuss. I pictured myself waxing poetically about breastfeeding and bonding with the baby, or giving you advice on how to get your newborn to stop crying or sleep through the night. But honestly, I’ve only been doing this for 6
short long weeks, and I honestly have no idea what
the hell I’m doing. My kid won’t
breastfeed and he doesn’t sleep through the night. And sometimes he cries so hard it makes me
cry and we both sit on the couch and bawl in unison - that’s probably not the
type of bonding you want to be doing, right?
Being a new mom is tough and I’m learning how to do this job as I
go. I just don’t know enough about
anything yet to be able to help anyone else out with a baby. So, that’s my topic today…how to be absolutely
clueless and be ok with it.
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before: “Nothing can prepare you for having a baby.” Truer words have never been spoken. Believe me, you can babysit every kid on the block, read every book ever written on babies, ask endless questions of all your mom friends, practice care-giving with furbabies and take all those worthless classes at your hospital, but nothing in the world gives you a clue as to how you’ll handle being a new mom. Sure, you’ll learn how to change a diaper and how to swaddle your newborn, but you don’t learn how to survive on 45 minutes of sleep a night for weeks at a time, how to prevent inconsolable crying from acid reflux, how to eat/drink/clean/pee one-handed while holding a baby, how to not be angry with your husband for sleeping through the baby’s cries or how to survive the mommy-guilt you feel when you can’t breastfeed your little one. Nope, these are all things you can never prepare yourself for and you’re shocked when they happen to you. But you know what? That’s ok. You also can’t prepare yourself for the pride you feel when someone tells you how cute your kid is, or the love you feel for your husband when the baby’s sleeping in his arms while they watch the baseball game, or the joy you feel when your little one snuggles into your neck and falls asleep. Nope, you’re never prepared. And that’s ok too.
If you’re anything like me, I hate not being good at things and it takes all I have to admit that as a new mom, I don’t know what I’m doing. How can you possibly know what kind of parent you’ll be until you’re in the situation? No wonder I don’t know what I’m doing…I’ve never done this before! Duh. But I’ve realized over the past six weeks that even though I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m getting better at it. Does that make any sense? Every day is a little bit better and a little bit easier. Of course we have days/nights that are downright awful where I just want him back in my stomach where he was NICE AND QUIET, but those days are getting fewer and far between. Nowadays I’m learning how to be the best mom I can be to my child one minute at a time. I’m the one that knows everything about him and I’m so proud of that. Maybe I don’t know how to cure hiccups, but I know my kid likes to be bounced while he hiccups and that makes him feel better. I don’t know how to get the dishes and laundry done in the same day, but I know it’s worth wearing dirty clothes to be able to spend time on the playmat with him and listen to the squeaks and love noises he makes. I don’t know how to do it all; hell, I don’t even know how to do most of it. But again, that’s ok. I’m learning. My child is teaching me how to do my job as his mommy and it’s been the most important lesson of my life.
What I’ve really learned is that even though I’m not a perfect mom, I’m the perfect mom for my baby. I have to trust that I know what to do that’s right for him. I’ll still read the books and ask the questions, but raising a baby isn’t going to be a textbook experience. And it’s not going to be identical to my best friend’s experience with her new baby or like my favorite blogger’s experience with her kids. Every child is different and every day is a new challenge. Maybe some of you have those mythological “easy” babies that never cry, eat on a schedule and sleep through the night at two weeks old. And if you do, more power to you (and bugger off), but my guess is that most of your babies have their issues…I know mine does. I don’t love him any less for them, but it certainly does make my job a little harder. But that’s ok, because that is my job – to be his mom and do the best I can to make sure he has what he needs. And I’ll keep trying until I figure it out. And I’m sure that just when I think we’ve made progress, something will change and we’ll start all over again with the books and the questions and the wishing he was back in my belly. Because if I’ve learned anything over the last six weeks, it’s that I don’t know a damn thing about what I’m doing. But guess what…that’s ok.