My daughter is almost one, so I should be over this…but I’m not.
When other new moms tell me about their “easy” babies, I get slightly jealous, maybe even a little angry. I tell them I’m happy for them, and I am, but I also feel a pang of envy.
Of course, I’d never trade my baby for their babies. My baby has a dimple in her chin, has a mischevious grin, and loves books. I love my baby.
BUT, I still feel robbed of her first four months of life. I suffered from postpartum anxiety, and my daughter suffered from colic. Those months weren’t pleasant. They weren’t blissful. We all just tried to survive.
Of course, we had moments, very few and far between, but we had them. There is one that I always come back to. Mae must have been 8 weeks old or so, and she was just beginning to hold her head up, and out of nowhere, she pushed herself up while laying on my chest, pushed up her arms and held up her head and held my gaze for some long seconds, and it was as if she was saying “Don’t give up on me. Stick with me.” Then she went back to screaming at my boob.
I love talking with new moms. I love helping and supporting them. It’s actually something I get a lot of satisfaction from. I volunteer with Postpartum Education & Support, and I’ve become a touchstone for many women, and I love that.
But when I see a baby sleeping soundly in a car seat while the mother grocery shops, I still pause in awe.
And then I feel this guilt. Am I really comparing other children to mine? And it’s not that. Like most mothers, I think Mae is the most amazing person, but I still feel the loss of what I thought those first few months would be, and it seems as if some mothers get something close to what I wanted. It’s a lot to let go of, those high expectations that I had.
So while I wouldn’t change anything about Mae’s birth or newborn days (because they taught me so much about myself), I still find myself, at times, jealous of some women’s experiences.