I know how it looks. It looks like I’ve got this whole thing figured out.
I just open my arms and the baby is calmed down and I know just what the baby needs.
I am the one that the baby goes to first. The one the baby wants when they wake up at night. The one that can hear the baby’s cries no matter how deep asleep I am.
I can change diapers one handed, milk comes out from my boobs and I seem like I have unlimited patience for our baby.
But I do have a confession for you…I have no idea what I’m doing.
I started this journey out the same way you did, scared out of my mind.
I worried about how I would be able to handle it, would I know what to do.
Would I be able to know what the baby needed? Would the baby like me? Would I like the baby?
It may seem like it comes easier to me but the real confession is that it really doesn’t. I’m just as lost and confused as you, but I also know that there’s this sweet little baby that needs me and I’ve got to figure out how to be there for them.
I know I try to make it look easy and that it all comes easier and faster for me. You probably still feel lost and unsure and maybe even a little scared that you’ll do something wrong. I’m still scared every day that I’m doing it all wrong. I change diapers, feed the baby, and try figure out why it’s crying all the time.
Mostly I just hold it, snuggle it and shower it with all the love that I possess.
It’s all I know how to do and I know it’s probably all you know how to do too. The good thing is that is all the baby needs, a loving family. So you don’t have to worry about doing everything right because you’ll make mistakes, and so will I.
When your wife seems exasperated or annoyed that you still can’t figure out how to dress the baby, it’s not you. It’s being tired all the time. It’s being stressed all the time that she’ doing it wrong. It’s being frustrated that I don’t always know what to do and I feel like I should.
As a new mom it’s constant pressure to appreciate every moment, to cherish every second with this little baby. Even when the baby has been screaming for two hours for no reason that I can fathom.
Even as I complain that I get no help, that there’s no one I can depend on, it’s more anger at myself for not being able to do it all. But also because I want to have a partnership and help with someone that can do it all just as well as I can.
Then I also have trouble thinking anyone else can do it as well as I can. I can’t stand by and hear my poor little baby crying and not do anything to help. Even if I know they are with someone that loves them and can take care of them.
I’m sorry that I hug the baby sometimes.
That I complain I don’t get help and yet won’t let you step in at night when I’m rocking our crying baby. Even if I act annoyed I love those moments when you step in and insist that you take care of the baby.
It doesn’t matter that I may have to step in twenty minutes later and help to get the baby down. It doesn’t matter that you might not do it as well, the fact that you wanted to is all that matters.
I confess that sometimes I hate that taking care of the baby becomes tag team. Where if I’m taking care of the baby you are off somewhere. Even if you are just in the room with us, sitting on the floor or in the chair, just your presence lets me know that I’m not alone in this.
That even though I can handle putting the baby to bed, feeding the baby and changing the baby, it’s nice sometimes to have you there too.
As a new mom this is all new to me just as it is to you. The best way to learn what to do is just to jump in with both feet and just experience it. The bond between mother and baby may be stronger due to those 9 months together, but your bond will develop so quickly there won’t be a difference.
The baby will love and depend on you for so much and you will be there in ways I can’t. But you can’t start this scared, you can’t start this by just letting someone else do all the hard work. Be part of the whole experience and enjoy it all.
It’s not going to be easy. Once we have a rhythm, once we think we know what we are doing, the rules are going to change. The baby will start walking, talking, going to school and becoming their own person.
But this is a journey that you are such an important part of.
So even though it may look like I can do it better or faster or that the baby wants me instead of you, do it all anyway. Soon you will be just as good and just as fast, and you may even learn a better way.
Then one day the baby will scream and cry for daddy instead of mommy and that will be a moment that you will cherish forever. So continue to support and love the mother of your child despite your fears.