So here’s something horrible: I’m disappointed in my baby. She is the complete opposite of everything I expected and thought I was prepared for. She is nothing like her brother- who is my only other experience with raising children. From about week 12 she has been a car seat screamer and despite everyone’s well intentioned ” it will get better soon!”s it still hasn’t and honestly I doubt it will for a long time. From that same age she has hated most human beings. She will accept being held by myself and my mom- anyone else gets to enjoy ear piercing screams of terror for hours if we decide to leave her for that long.
So why the disappointment?
She is not an enjoyable baby. She cries 85% of the day. When we go visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins- no one can hold her. Heck no one can look at her the wrong way. I watch as other babies are passed around and cooed over and loved. I hear things said like, what a good baby! But never to my kid. Mine is busy clinging to me as if everyone in the house is out to get her. When people do try to simply talk to her she angrily stares at them. I swear, if she knew how to flip the bird she would be doing it all over town. I have to tell people ( her own family members!!!) to approach her like they would an unfamiliar dog- walk up slowly…not too much eye contact….let her come to you….no loud noises. And because she is so different I get the constant stream of concerns about her health- something is wrong, she has baby anxiety, she has ear infections, she needs to be on formula, shes not getting enough/getting too much sleep, she’s autistic/special needs. Actually she’s perfectly healthy and just a biotch and she doesnt like you, I desperately want to say. But i’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon. So I’ve noticed recently that people have stopped trying. No one asks to hold her anymore, she’s just ignored. She is the unenjoyable baby.
I can’t leave her with a babysitter. Well I could I guess, but honestly if I am biologically predisposed to love and care for this child and sometimes I still want to throw her out the window- I really worry that if someone besides family watches her they will not be able to put up with the screaming and will treat her poorly. So the baby tyrant is ALWAYS along for the ride with me.
Speaking of rides, pull out your ear plugs. Because anything longer than 15 minutes is hellacious. And not just for me. Poor C gets an earful back there too. On our recent beach trip without her C said, “it’s so nice to be in the car without that screaming baby.” And yes I’ve tried toys, videos, different car seats- nothing helps. She just doesn’t want to be strapped down. She is the same way in the stroller. And now that she is older, when I’m trying to even put her in the car seat or stroller she arches her back and flips the f out like a cracked out, demon possessed rabid animal. So when I see babies the same age in infant car seats, strollers, etc it’s hard to not feel like I’m doing something wrong. Taking her on car trips is out. So thank goodness we have those early pictures at the beach/ mountains when she was 8 weeks old because she will not be going anywhere semi-distant until she can sort out this car screaming. I’m not doing that to myself or C.
Sometimes I wonder if it is really my fault. Does she somehow know that when I found out she was a girl I balled like a baby, myself? Does she know I wanted another boy? Is that why she is so needy? But I told a friend this and she told me – that’s not real, that’s mom guilt.
And there is so much mom guilt. I feel disappointed and guilty for being a mom that is disappointed in her baby. Baby M has been an education in motherhood for me. I have learned and am still learning that M is not here to be “enjoyed.” We don’t have children so that our lives will be more enjoyable. My responsibility as M’s mom is to keep her healthy and help her grow up- that’s it. It is not my job to make sure people enjoy or like her. It is about laying myself down for my child on a daily basis. Not about having a cute accessory that is fun to tote around. I struggle with this every.single.day. ( And some days wonder where and to whom I can put in my two weeks notice.) It’s about thanking God that I have a healthy baby- not a happy one. I dearly hope and pray that as she grows there will be more joy for C and I. But right now, we just have to turn off the monitor, eat lots of chocolate and get through the day.