Oh my goodness! For me I think that these are two of the best words to describe becoming a mum. In fact for someone like me, a lifelong chronic worrier, it’s a wonder that I ever wanted to become one in the first place. I mean, doesn’t motherhood make you conjure up all the worries that you can possibly think of? Or is that just me? And then the realisation that you are ultimately responsible for this little life? Simply overwhelming.
It started in the hospital. The simplest of things. Carrying my little man. He was so tiny and fragile. How was I going to carry him around safely? I was petrified of dropping him. I was petrified of falling. But it was ok, I came to the conclusion that the only place to hold him safely was lying on the bed. But then, oh my god, what was I going to do when I got home? I couldn’t stay in bed all the time. So I spent a lot of time trying to work out how I was going to manage. But I did manage. I had to. We couldn’t spend the rest of his babyhood lying in the hospital bed.
In fact leaving hospital itself was scary. There I was surrounded by experts who knew exactly what they were doing. I knew I could call on them at any time. How would we manage at home? After all neither of us had any experience caring for a newborn. How would we know what to do? There’s no manual. No instructions. The most important job in the world but no training for it. Well I found a way to survive and put it this way, if my mum had been given a euro for every time I phoned her in those first few weeks she would now be a very rich woman!
The next thing was feeding. I was mixed feeding but how was I going to make up the formula? In the hospital they had these ready-made feeds complete with disposable teats. I needed these. I didn’t trust myself to make up the formula – after all it seemed so complicated. So the best thing to do was to buy the ready-made stuff with the disposable teats. I googled. Phew! They existed. They were expensive but at least it would be done properly. Panic over. But as it turns out we managed just fine. Without ever buying the feeds with the disposable teats. And guess what? Thanks to our Perfect Prep machine – making up formula is easy!
Then there was the issue of actually leaving the house. Packing the changing bag? That just seemed another stress! I’m actually surprised that I managed to go out at all with the little man in the first few weeks. I mean what was I supposed to take? I eventually realised that the solution was simple. Take as much as I possibly could (in fact it was a similar method to the one I use for holiday packing). So I did. The bag was ridiculously heavy. And I could barely close it. Changing the little man’s nappy when I was out was a nightmare. No, not the actual changing of the nappy, the fact that the bag was so full, I couldn’t find a thing in it which is a problem when you have the bag over one arm and you’re using the other to carry a baby.
Anyway, now I think I have it all sussed. Just about. Well, maybe. I can carry, feed and change my little man without worrying and fretting about it. But then, how could I forget? There’s the next stage. Weaning. Crawling. Walking. Oh my god! How will I manage? I know that at the moment this is all in the future but surely all this worrying in advance will help?
To be honest I could worry about everything. My husband would say that I always have. He says that if I have nothing to worry about I find something. And I tell you, becoming a mum has just allowed me to find every worry under the sun. But I have to take a step back, breathe and remember that billions of babies have been raised in this life by billions of overwhelmed, worried mothers and it worked out just fine.
Now where’s the baby proofing kit?