“What a lovely baby!” “Look at her gorgeous cheeks” “His hair is amazing” “Isn’t she cute?!” “I can’t wait to cuddle him” “How does she sleep?” “Is he putting on weight ok?”…etc etc
“I brought him a new outfit/ toy/ pack of muslins/ bibs”.
Once that baby is out, you will most likely be inundated with positive commentary about their appearance, and/ or enquiries about their wellbeing. They will be gifted everything they need and more, even though you’ve already spent a fortune on a mountain of stuff for them.
People will arrive, cuddle craving and adoring, and swoon. Perhaps you’ll be making tea and serving biscuits when all you really want to do is sleep.
You’ll smile and nod and agree that this small human is the single best thing to happen to you ever, and all the while be wondering when people stopped being interested in how YOU are doing. It’s you who just grew a human and had it exit your body. It’s you that’s been through this total transformation. You who is so consumed by love, but sharing that emotional space within you is anxiety, fear, happiness, sadness, bewilderment, joy, exhaustion, exhilaration, loneliness and ecstasy. It’s you who mattered so much mere days ago, who has now been relegated.
One of the mothers in my closed group posted this article yesterday and although the title may seem alarmist, it rings true for many of us.
There are plenty of people concerned for your baby’s wellbeing, most of all YOU. You’ll be the one googling and reading and trying and learning and giving and giving and giving. So I’ll only be asking after you.
How are you getting on? Do you need to talk about how tired you are? Do you need to talk about the birth? Do you need to talk about this overwhelming love that consumes you? Or the changes in your relationship with your partner? Do you need to know when life will settle down again? Do you need to know where to get help with something? Whatever it is, I want to hear it if you want to say it. I want to introduce you to someone who can support you, if that’s what you want.
It’s an attitude that begins in birth- a healthy baby is all that matters. Of course that’s top of the list. But you mattered then, and you still do.
And of course, if you want to tell me about how your baby is doing, go ahead. But tell me about you first. I’m here for YOU.