I took my Isabella in for a checkup last week and was thrilled to hear my pediatrician was expecting her 3rd child.
After talking for a while, she looked at me with a semi-panicked expression and said…
Heather, I’m honestly so nervous about this baby.
You’d think that being a doctor, and having 2 other kids, I wouldn’t have these baby nerves anymore.
Wow, was I relieved to hear that.
She was admitting what I felt every single time I left the hospital with a new baby. (And still feel some days.)
That nervous excitement.
Knowing everything was going to change, but not sure what that change was really going to look like.
For a Class-A Control Freak such as myself, it was torture.
Take, for example, my first outing as a mother of three…
Act One: The Shameful Shoplifter
Bella was one week old.
A 6-inch snow had dropped the temperature outside to a miserable 5-degrees Fahrenheit. (That’s -15, Celsius friends.)
And I had to go OUT IN IT WITH THREE KIDS.
After thirty minutes of donning coats, scarves, hats, boots, gloves (Has anyone seen my PINK gloves? Mom, I can only find one boot…etc. etc.) we finally piled into our newly-acquired minivan.
I decided, in a moment of exhausted-insanity to make a “quick” stop at a local drugstore I’ll call…Balgreens (for reasons that will be made clear in a moment).
So, corralling my brood through the store, lugging a 15-lb car seat and robotically chanting No candy…No toys…No… I picked out the three things we needed and poured my efforts into keeping the kids in the checkout line.
After a rude employee checked me out, glaring at me for interrupting his enjoyment of People, I hurried out the door and to the van, completely flustered.
Ten minutes later, after checking seatbelts and getting everybody settled, I turned to put the cart back and discovered…an unpurchased bottle of baby shampoo taunting me from the front seat, where it had sat under the diaper bag.
Okay. Let’s go over my options:
- Option A: Get all three kids out of the van again (5 degrees!), go in and pay. Be late to doctor’s appointment, be late to Cameron’s Christmas office party, where they were all waiting for the reveal of his latest daughter.
- Option B: Get all three kids out of the van again, return the bottle, and make this “quick” stop again tomorrow.
- Option C: Mentally block what I was doing, toss the gosh-darn shampoo into the van before I can feel the first pang of guilt and make a run for it.
Can you guess which one I choose?
Act Two: The Doctor Office Disaster
Once I got to the doctor, Bella had one of “those” poops. The one that runs up the back and into hair.
And can you guess which Awesome Mom forgot to pack a change of clothes? (Free bag-packing tip for you there…)
My newborn now smelled like crap.
The doctor decided Bella needed a billirubin test to check for jaundice. They pricked her heel and squeezed for 10 minutes trying to get enough blood for a sample.
She screamed bloody murder for an eternity.
The older kids were cranky and fought. (Please pretend to be shocked that my children occasionally misbehave in public.)
I cried. (Yes, right there, blubbering snot over my screaming baby girl.)
Finally, after that ordeal was over, we trudged back to the van to head over to Cameron’s office Christmas party, 30 minutes late.
I turned the key…
And. Nothing. Happened.
Unknown to me, on the way to the doctor, Lauren decided to “explore” the new van’s interior lights.
It was completely dead.
Here’s a word of advice: don’t get stuck in a doctor’s office the week before Christmas.
Of their non-vacationing staff of 4, not one (all women) knew how to battery jump a car.
I’m not judging. After all, I didn’t know how either…
Where is my White Knight?
Sipping punch at the office Christmas party, wondering where the heck I was and stressed out because he can’t get me on the cell phone…because I left it at home (of course).
I couldn’t remember his brand-new cell number (that’s why I have a cell! so I can just push “1”!) and no one was at their desk to pick up the phone.
Eventually a nurse’s husband drove up to save the day and an hour later we headed home because the party was, by now, completely over.
Act Three: The Mental Meltdown
Driving home, I had a complete meltdown of tears.
On a positive, though all three kids were completely silent in the car, probably scared spitless at this new maniac side of Mommy.
All I could think was…
Was this going to be my new life?
Was this what I had signed up for?
How do people DO THIS?
Right in the middle of my pity-party, a friend called.
I blurted out the whole awful day and waited for the compassionate “oohhh, honey!” and “I’m so sorryies” that you would expect from a fellow female on hearing such a story.
Instead, I was surprised to hear LAUGHING.
She shared HER worst parenting day ever, and soon we were giggling.
The next day she gave me a present: a newly purchased bottle of baby shampoo, which she promised she purchased at Balgreens…
(Hardy har har, Amy…)
Act Four: The Lesson & Legacy
If you’re feeling particularly discouraged and overwhelmed today with the new life you have in front of you, be encouraged.
Every parent has been where you are.
We second-guess ourselves. We worry we will fail our kids.
We get overwhelmed. Depressed.
We struggle to balance the advice of others with the decisions we feel are best.
And we feel the weight of judgments given when we choose not to agree with that advice.
You’re not the first parent to struggle with these things.
We ALL feel that way sometimes.
Even moms with so-called baby blogs. 😉
Well, that was my terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad day.
What was yours?