Pet Peeve Number One

For my first blog post, I’m going to get straight to the point with my Number One Pet Peeve. 

Please, oh please, stop telling mothers to “Enjoy every minute because it goes by so fast.” 

I know that when friends, family, or even random people on the internet say it to a mom, they are coming from a place of well-meaning and good intent. I get it. However, it can cause a mom to feel guilty and subsequently cause her to question her ability to be a good mom.  

We have all had those moments. You know what I’m talking about…  when we’ve said something to someone and moments later hoped that they didn’t hear it or hoped that they didn’t take it the way we said it. If only the ground would please open up and swallow us! Yes, those moments. I know I have.  

Even to… especially to… new moms.  

You see, I have a soft spot for new moms, I want to protect them. I’ve had the great honor of being around enough new moms to know that they can be incredibly vulnerable, sensitive, overwhelmed, emotional, and overjoyed all within 10 minutes. Those feelings are even more intense at 3am. I also have a soft spot for veteran moms, heck they can have all those feelings multiplied by the amount of children that they have. How can two siblings that came from the same DNA possibly be so different? How can one child be so easy going and the other, not so much?! 

I’ve had those moments of looking at my own child and wondering “Where is this child’s mother?” “Why won’t someone just take him for a moment so I can get a break?!”

This well meaning gesture can actually do more damage than good. I’ll come right out and say it. Some moments are simply awful. Some are scary, some are painful, some are never ending and some are really lonely. It’s okay to not enjoy every minute. It’s okay to just want a minute of alone time.  

A long time ago, I read a book where the author was discussing gas and digestive issues for babies. For the life of me, I can’t remember the book, but I do remember one thing that really resonated with me. She explained that the reason babies start to show signs of discomfort and their crying starts to increase at approximately three weeks, is basically a survival technique for the human race. By the third week of our baby’s life, we’re completely smitten and head over heels in love for this little bundle. We’d do anything for them. However, if we were given this screaming, purple and angry baby right away in the hospital, surely we’d question if we were given the right baby and consider giving them back, right?!

Each age and stage comes with new milestones, celebrations, and challenges. It is so satisfying to overcome a hurdle. Yet, it always seems as soon as we find ourselves getting into a groove and figuring these little people out, they go and change on us again! It’s okay to miss a stage that’s gone by just as much as it’s okay to look forward to an age/stage in the future. It’s ok to not like the current stage! 

It’s okay to wonder Why on earth is this little person still not sleeping? How can it be humanly possible for a little one to stay awake for such a long time? 

It’s okay for you to wish for them to just please settle down so you can exhale. 

And… It’s okay that after they finally settle, you miss them.  

-Joan

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