I always thought being a mom would come so naturally to me. I thought there would be nothing better than soothing my crying daughter and rocking her to sleep. *Sigh* Boy was I in for a big shock. Medication aside- I was terrified of my little girl. I had no idea what I was doing and all of a sudden I am in charge? When did this happen!?
I had people asking me what I wanted them to do and I didn't know what to tell them! My mom flew here when my daughter was born. I remember her asking me what I wanted her to do when my daughter was crying. (I was immobile at the time and could not get her myself.) I looked at her with wide eyes and said "I don't know mom! You are the experienced one here!" I look back laughing, but then I really didn't find it funny at the time. I felt like a terrible mommy. How can I not know what my daughter needs?
All parents ever talk about how wonderful having children is. It seems that people are afraid to talk about the not-so-fun side of parenting, in fear that someone might have "expert advice" on their situation. (We will save the experts for another blog post!) Parenting is by the hardest thing I have ever done.
I can't speak for all new parents, of course, but for me, coming home from the hospital was very overwhelming. All of a sudden I have a screaming "bundle of joy" who doesn't want to sleep longer than two hours and has her days and nights mixed up. The truth is parenting is something I had to learn how to do.
I am now confident in my parenting abilities, but it took me a little while to get to this point. When you do reach that point though, it seems like it HAS always come naturally to you. Don't feel bad if you are overwhelmed/scared or just plain don't know why your child is crying. Until I learned my daughter's cries, I went through a list- check the diaper, is she cold/hot, does she want to be held, is she hungry? (And not necessarily in that order!) It may sound dumb, but it worked for me. I wanted to make sure I always had all of my bases covered... I ended up changing a lot more diapers than was probably necessary, though. LOL!