It’s no secret that I’m an anxious person.
Becoming a mom amplified this anxiety about, oh, a million percent, and to be honest, there were some days really early on when I was in a constant state of hot mess. I remember when O was 5 days old, and I accidentally cut her thumb when cutting her nails (note to new moms: use a file, always a file). Her finger bled a ton and wouldn’t clot, and here I am on the phone with Telehealth asking them if I need to take her to emerg, while simultaneously having a nervous breakdown. And hubby? He was calmly sitting with her, applying pressure with a piece of gauze, and sure enough, it eventually clotted. Then the next day she woke up more congested than usual, and I was convinced she had RSV and we were going to lose her. I rushed her to the doctor and saw his partner instead. He’s a sarcastic man with little tolerance for the crazy (which I guess happens when you’ve been in practice forever and most of your patients are children of Jewish mothers), and his response to both my queries (the thumb *and* the RSV) was, “She’ll live.”
Anyway, it’s taken me 19 months, but I’ve come a long way and have (mostly) calmed the eff down. I can’t wait until I have a second, because I feel like I’m going to be so much more rational and chill during my pregnancy and those early days. Here are some of the ways I manage to preserve my sanity.
1. No webcams at daycare.
So, I like this idea in theory. I think it’s well worth it to pay an extra couple hundred dollars a month if you’re the type of person who receives peace of mind from checking in on your child during the day. I, however, am not that person. I’m pretty sure I’d be compulsively checking throughout the day to ensure she’s sleeping, eating, and just generally happy and well off. All I know is when I pick O up at the end of the day, she seems happy as a clam, and doesn’t want to leave until I tell her we’re going to see daddy. Ignorance is bliss on this one, folks.
2. The video monitor stays off at night.
She sleeps, and I sleep. End of story.
3. No reading.
No Baby Whisperer bullshit, no Happiest Toddler on the Block, and definitely no Dr. Google. EVER. These were my rookie mistakes during pregnancy and in the early months. I read compulsively, Google searched compulsively, and managed to convince myself that I had pre-eclampsia, and that O was a demon terror baby because I didn’t have her on a schedule by 2 weeks. Never again. I’ve learned now that I have relatively decent intuition and judgement, and I know when something is wrong and when something isn’t. And in the same vein…
4. No mom forums.
Comparison. Judgement. How to do it right. Organic, gluten free, no TV, ADHD…damn I’m poetic. I just can’t. And it’s honestly so liberating. I don’t know how any of the other moms out there are doing it (or how they claim to be doing it in a public forum where they adopt a fake persona), but nope, don’t care. You do you mama, and I’m gonna do me.