I spent a lovely few hours yesterday with a group of new mommies and their babies. Despite having to fight the urge to grab each and every baby and rock them on my hip, the day was great. I don’t know how L&D nurses do it-surrounded by cute babies all day. I would constantly get “caught” cooing at one or another when I was supposed to be taking vitals or inserting IVs. Good thing I’m not a nurse.
We were together with Dr. Laura Jana, MD, FAAP, co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn-From Birth to Reality. It’s a great book that I cover more here. She was there to answer questions that these moms had about whatever they wanted. She was incredible and I was totally envious of the ladies who got to pick the brain of this woman who is not only an experienced pediatrician, but also has three kids of her own.
What struck me, after I got over how together these ladies seemed when I am certain I was still in my pajamas and not at a fancy city lunch with my a six week old, was that all their questions were exactly the same as the ones I had with a newborn. What about sleep patterns? What about spit up? What’s normal? What should I worry about? Can I spoil the baby?
No matter how much time passes, no matter how sophisticated the strollers become, no matter how large the information resource base has grown- with books and blogs and social media- for moms, the questions, fears and worries stay the same. You are suddenly in charge of this seemingly fragile little life and it doesn’t really speak your language. So you’re left guessing and learning through trial and error. You wonder and ask and worry. And luckily they survive our floundering and come through as active, healthy people who do start to speak our language-often quite loud. They are heartier than we think. They are built to withstand the most worrisome, fumbling mom and dad.
Luckily, so are we.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.