Updated: Nov 5, 2019
The one 'thing' they don't tell you about , or share really is what I now know first hand is the fear. It's crippling at times! I have seen it with mums I worked with when I was a nanny, I would dismiss it as neurotic, these were ladies who were hiring someone else to look after their kids so I figured they weren't as confident as a mum as such . No reflection on them , there are some it comes naturally too and some who have to learn parenting. I figured these ladies fell into the later. No, I am in awe how they handed their children to me to look after! Not because I was not going to care for them but because now I am a mum , I don't want to let me baby out of my sight. I get nervous when others hold her, not sure if I could walk out the door for a day leaving her with someone else. I even get nervous whether Father holds her and in my opinion is too rough with her and jiggles her too much.( it's a Dad thing they are rougher with kids in fact later as toddlers they relish the rough and tumble with Dad ) and he has had three other kids !
I have turned in to the neurotic, worried, fearful ravaged with guilt mum. I hold my baby tighter when the ads on tv show war torn conflicts where children are the innocent victims, ads asking for help for clean drinking water or shelter from dangers. I feel guilty that my girl is going to have opportunities and an education while those others are not .
I am terrified of that I can't control and even that which I can. I sit up at nights watching and making sure she is breathing. Hand on her back ,listening intently. If I could put a mirror in front of her face to make sure it mists up I would. I used to scoff at those families that bought the monitors that took the heart beat and had monitors that sent pictures to your phone , now I'm pricing them up. I imaging ways that life is going to hurt my baby and can I sensibly wrap her in cotton wool at night and bubble wrap during the day without getting carted away to the funny farm. I'm terrified of even myself hurting her, not holding her head right,I've been caring for babies for 25 years I know what I'm doing so if I'm a wreck I can't imagine new mums ! I sleep walk and am known to put pillows in wardrobes and pack suitcases and walk out the door in my sleep ( TMI I know ) but what if I do something like that when I'm caring for her, pop a pillow in her crib. Yes, that why I have that monitor to wake me up if she farts. I get scared that the dummy is going to choke her, that if she is not on her side, she prone to sick ups that she might choke , it never ends.
I know it's only going to get worse when she gets bigger, she's going to fall , bump every part of her body, scape her elbows and her knees , bleed. Others are going to hurt her in games and play. Then there is stranger danger, people who aren't right in the head, and me thinking that everyone is potential threat . She's going to go off to play and I won't be able to see her for a split sec in the playground a panic will set in . I'll lose her in the supermarket or a shop. She will go off to kindy and school and have to fend for herself. I am a bag of nerves.
How do we of a certain generation and those before us survive? No monitors, slept on our stomachs and don't get me started on car seats or even seat belts . I remember there wasn't any in my mums car when I was little. We climbed trees and rode bikes without helmets or any harm befalling us and if it did we picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off. Not saying we were tougher we just were given the chance to learn to be independent, to problem solve and make up our minds. And we need to use that strength to raise our kids. Yes, all of the above can happen but I am aware of it and will keep my lil one safe as best I can. I've learned it's ok to fret as I keeps us sharp to dangers and makes us better parents but also we have to relax, that we can both know what we are doing and have no clue at all . But like the mums I worked for we learn as we go along. I am facing the fear, living with the fear and loving my lil one more each day ..... now where did I put that bubble wrap