The Terror of Parenting

Who remembers what it was like to bring home your new baby? What were the things that scared you the most?  I’ve made a list for your entertainment. 🙂

  1. Leaving the hospital. Let’s face it, at the hospital you have nurses to help you with feeding, people who bring you food, and the secure knowledge that you are not alone and if you DO mess up, people are there who can help you fix it. The idea of leaving that safe structured hospital is pretty darn scary because really, what the hell do you know about babies? Why do they think you can just take it home? Shouldn’t there be a test or something first? I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!
  2. Driving home from the hospital. First you have to get the new infant in the car seat which you’ve never used before. Then get it in the car. This is when I froze up. I could NOT sit in the front seat. What if the baby woke up and needed me? The front seat was way to far away! So, my husband became an Uber driver and I sat in the back, next to a sleeping infant, on the off chance she woke up and needed to see my face. And THEN I spent the entire trip telling my husband to slow down, make smoother turns, and not hit every damn pothole. THE BABY IS IN THE CAR!
  3. The first bath. I’ve learned a lot since my first one, like how a newborn doesn’t really NEED a bath, just a wipe down with some soft cloths every once in while, barring some horrible diaper incident. But with my first one, I put out the baby tub, got the sling ready, filled it with warm water, and then spent a terrifying 10 minutes trying to not panic. She was so slippery! What if she fell into the water? OMG I’M GOING TO KILL MY BABY AND SHE’S ONLY BEEN HOME TWO DAYS!
  4. Trimming her nails. Baby nails are sharper than anything on earth. And newborns are spastic things that really don’t know how to move their arms or hands yet and if you don’t cut those little nails they will scratch themselves. Like, you will look down and see a bloody gash on their face and think some creature must have attacked your precious baby. Nope, baby nails. So, being a good parent, you buy baby nail trimmers, grab a tiny hand, and then freeze. Those nails are so so so small. What if you miss? What if you cut her precious fingertip off? What if she moves at a key moment? Maybe I don’t have to trim them right now? No, she’s cutting her own face. I need to…just hold still…don’t breathe…..
  5. Giving her to someone else. I hated handing her to other people. I hated leaving her without me. What if she cried? What if they dropped her? NO ONE would do as good a job as me, so hands off! I got better at this one, but the first month or so I was  super protective of my little bundle of joy and if she cried while you were holding her, you got a dirty look and a caustic remark while I snatched her back from you. Sorry. The hormones made me do it. Yeah. That’s why.

Did you have super scary moments as a new parent? It’s all super scary, really, but these are the things that actually had me on the verge of panic attacks for the first month or two.  Practice makes perfect and hormones even out eventually and suddenly you’re a pro.