I know what you are going to say.
I am going to write this post and then you are going to say, “Oh honey it’s so normal.”
And I don’t want you to say that.
Because I know it’s normal.
But that doesn’t make it any easier.
Also, I don’t want to write this post only to have you read it and say, “Oh honey, you are strange.”
Because I know that too.
And this is the post:
I tend to be an over-anxious, high strung mother with an internal network of high-wire nerves. I don’t like it. But it is true.
I am sitting in the basement typing this post (it took me a half an hour to write the first part–the rules) and my baby is upstairs. Three flights up. And I am physically restraining myself to get up and check on him every five minutes. Just pat his back, or make sure that his coconut head is resting comfortable against the mattress pad. Or, for heaven sakes that he is breathing.
In the night I wake up at timely intervals just to peak in on the boy. If my husband arises to meet the needs of his bladder then I insist that the trip includes a detour into the nursery. Every time he comes back to bed I ask about the physicality of the sleeping space. Was it too hot? Too cold? Too dry?
There is Md, my brother-in-law who is an Md. Well, a pediatrician (to be technical) who tells me things like “he is too old for SIDS” and the like, but the problem is that I know Md too well. He gives me his professional advice and then plays Rock Band. I don’t want to know that my doctor has a life outside of medicine. That makes me anxious all the more. I want his hobbies to be reading texts, devouring recent findings and compiling detailed information for WebMd. How does Rock Band fit into my baby’s wellness plan?
Oh dear. Here I go again.
I think feeding a baby solid food is petrifying. Sometimes I scoop a little bite of Cream of Wheat in his mouth and look away while he swallows. I know that no one in the history of this civilization (going back to Mesopotamia) has choked on Cream of Wheat, but that is no reason not to panic.
In my baby book I read that my mom fed me spaghetti when I was the same age as my kin. Spa-friggin-ghetti. She even included a short description of how my siblings loved to see me slurp up each noodle in my delicate mouth. Are you kidding me? What was I? The Death-Defying Circus?
The baby is sick. Fever, coughs and a marathon of a runny nose. You should see me. I am two mice and a piece of cheese away from snapping. It has been a few days, Md has been consulted. I’ve consulted my mother, mother-in-law and my sister’s mother-in-law for good measure. And you know what? I hate advice just about more than anything in this advice-riddled world. That is how desperate I am.
Last night as I was tending to my sick baby (and, did I mention sick husband?) (Ok, more than advice, I hate a sick husband) when I decided that I couldn’t spend the rest of my life this way. Not when statistically speaking the reasons to worry are about to divide and multiply throughout the existence of my son’s life. What is going to happen when I can’t solve all of his distress simply by offering my nursing services? Makes me almost contemplate mother-led weaning.
So I ordered my boys in the car and we drove to my parent’s house where I asked my father to give each a blessing. As my dad placed his hands on that cute coconut head and asked Heavenly Father to please bless my baby I was also blessed. I heard the words come to my heart and my mind, “Just let me do it.”
Let me check on the baby
Let me help him learn to chew.
Let me make him well.
Which notified my spirit that I am not alone in this task of baby-raising. There are others with invested interest in making sure that my son’s needs are being met from a healthy environment. And that Heavenly Father will do most of the work if I (gulp) let Him.
In practicality here in my basement, I’m trying to remember that my anxiety only masks my faith. And faith is the ability to relax. I am also congratulating myself for only checking on him once (once!) since I sat down to write this post.
And now that I’m done writing it, I want you to say, “Oh honey, only once? Good for you.”
Unless you aren’t the type to use “Oh honey” in which case you can call me “Cool Mama.” I’d say I’m half way there.