Becoming "The Crazy Mom"

I keep asking myself, "What the heck is wrong with me?"  How did I become that mom.  The one who's every move is dictated by her baby - whether he's napped or not, when the last time he fed was, and how often (or what color) he poops.  Who won't leave the house for fear of throwing off his schedule.

I feel like a prisoner.  A prisoner of my own home and of my own making.  

When I had my first son, by the end of the first month I had gotten into the swing of things and was back to living life as usual (almost) but with a baby in tow.  
We took a trip to Sea World when baby was only 7 weeks old! By 10 weeks, we were already beachin' it, and by 6 months, my baby boy had been out of state twice, and even had his first water park experience.
I'd rather have a root canal than take my new little lipshen to Sea World right now (and he's already 15 weeks)!  I just (as in last week) took baby boy to the grocery store alone for the first time.  And I kid you not, as I was holding my sweet little bundle the other day, this thought crossed my mind:  "Oh, my gosh. I was eating peanuts.  What if his little hand holding my finger gets peanut residue on it and he puts it in his mouth and he dies?!"

Seriously?!

That can't be normal. So again, I ask myself, "what the heck is wrong with me when it comes to this new baby?!"  What happened between 6 years ago and now that has made me such a freakazoid?

At first, I wondered if it was because I had him naturally, and unmedicated, and that the experience had given me some sort of super-connection with my sweet baby boy, but with my first born, I remember actually waking up at night 30-45 seconds before he'd start crying, like we had a strange psychic bond and that doesn't happen with this new little one.

Then, I wondered if it could be because we were exclusively breastfeeding, and that was giving us a crazy bond so that I was focused on nothing but him.
Or, maybe he's just a different person than my first born, so his needs (and my needs to fulfill them) are different.  Or maybe it's because I'm older.  Or maybe it's because I know more now than I did with my first born and as they say, ignorance is bliss.

Maybe it's all of the above and none of it at the same time.  Maybe I'm just over thinking everything and came into this pregnancy having set expectations and goals based on what "they" say makes me a good mother:  

 - I will exclusively breastfeed.
 - I will have an unmedicated, natural childbirth
 - I will cloth diaper
 - I will baby-wear
 - I will blah, blah, blah

There is so much pressure out there now for new moms.  So many opportunities to question yourself about whether or not you're doing the latest recommended things for your baby, or using the latest recommended gear....

Toys from China?  eek! - bad Mom
The tv's on during the daytime? - bad Mom
Supplementing with formula?! - bad Mom
Letting him cry for more than 5 minutes while you drive home from the grocery store (you took him out of the house?! - germs!) - bad Mom
Vaccinate/don't vaccinate.
Circumcision or intact?
You're washing him with regular baby soap?!  Those chemicals bring out female hormones in boys!!

Come on!  I can't live like this anymore.  I think it's unhealthy for myself and my baby for me to be a neurotic mother who second guesses everything so that she's making the perfect choice for her baby.  The perfect choice for my baby is unconditional love from a healthy mom.    
Maybe I just need to remember that perfect is different for everyone, and that my first born was a formula drinking, disposable diaper wearing baby who was constantly slathered in Johnson and Johnson's lotion, and man, that kid is awesome.  

I'm going to stop worrying so much about being the mom that everyone says I should be, and be the mom I am.  And if my kid ends up just like his big brother - well, that will be fine by me. 


*Do you feel like there's more pressure than ever before to be a "perfect parent?"  






Put A Bird On It

9 comments

  1. What a great post Melinda. I connect to this in so many ways. My first pregnancy was much different then the last one. You'd think that being a second time mom I would be over some of the fear and worry. I still get them. I mostly constantly question if I have PPD or am I just being crazy.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, totally! I've wondered the same thing, but think it's more like a postpartum anxiety than a depression. Either way, I'm getting out of it and living life again! :)

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  2. Great post! I am the same way with my kids! My first baby was formula fed and I was always going out to the stores and then I had to go back to work. But this time I get to stay home with my kids and I never go anywhere! I', always thinking its his nap time or he needs to eat, and it makes it worse that I exclusively pump for him so I also have to schedule my days around pumping! But I am getting better at it too. We have started going to the library just to get out of the house! Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only crazy one! LOL!

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    1. Wow! Props to you - exclusive pumping is no joke! Way to go Mama!

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  3. Absolutely, yes. So much pressure. And I don't what it is about the second baby because I went through the same feelings and craziness you are describing. Not sure your plans but for me I know she is the last and I think that fueled my overreaction to things. Like this was my last chance to get it "right." Whatever that means. Glad to hear you are aware of it and trying to shake it off. It does get better but takes some time. I still occasionally find myself having some issues however not nearly as bad as early on.

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    1. Yeah, we're planning on him being our last. Maybe that's what it is! Not that I'm glad you went through this too, but I'm boy am I glad to hear I'm not the only one. Thanks! :)

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  4. Omg, amazing ending to an amazing post! I was JUST going to write something very similar to this this week because the PRESSURES...man they're killer. And as my firstborn has gotten older, I see the kids his age who were raised the "wrong way" aka formula-fed, cried it out, circumcised, fed rice cereal, watch tv, etc etc etc ARE ALL NORMAL! Just like my son (who btw, has watched a lot of tv and eaten a lot of bad food and has dealt with a not-so-gentle mom). I'm starting to see that it's a lot of petty stuff that really doesn't affect your child in the way you think it will. They will turn out awesome as long as you love them because kids are resilient and all they want and need is us.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, exactly. I feel like, especially on mom forums and facebook, moms are quick to promote the way they do things and chastise the moms who aren't on their side, when all that really matters is that our little ones are getting as much love as possible. :)

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  5. It isn't easy! Although I have only one, I am glad that I was confident enough to ignore all the outside pressures and going with what I felt was right. I did EVERY one of the items above that you list as "bad Mom". I even ignored advice my doctor gave me when I felt is was wrong (wake a sleeping baby to feed him? Ummmm...no. If he's hungry, he will wake up and let me know!) CJ is almost 13 and is healthy, smart and welll adjusted. Totally formula fed, and he is sick less than any kid I know, breast fed or not. Stick with what you feel is best. Instinctively, you will know. :) Hope to see you guys soon! :)

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