If you checked my Google history it would probably look something like this:
'how much should my 10 week old eat'
'how often do babies poop'
'when should baby sleep through the night'
I've never had a baby before, so Google is my best friend. Especially after a 2am feeding when I can't go back to sleep.
Good lord, what did women do before the internet? Figure stuff out on their own?
No wonder we're all so messed up.
Most of the time my search results include websites like Baby Center or Just Mommies or The Bump. There are tons of pages of message boards where one Mom – who is usually exhausted, delusional and at the end of her rope – will ask for help from others Moms to find the best way to get her child to calm down/go to bed/step away from the boob.
And among the sea of mothers who are offering up their own horror stories or tidbits of motherly advice, she emerges:
Is there anyone you dislike more than the mother who brags? It's as if she were put on earth to make your feel like an inferior mother. It's like you can see her smirking through your computer screen.
It usually goes something like this: A woman will ask about sleep habits for her 4 month old, and when her baby should sleep through the night. This is usually followed up with comments by other moms, sharing stories of their babies: who needs to breastfeed every two hours; the baby who will only sleep for 30 minute intervals; the 6 month old who hates his crib.
But then, emerging from all of the compassionate mothers, there she is: smug and gloating. Her response usually contains a zillion abbreviations (my LO, the DH and I, I'm a SAHM) and goes something like this: "My baby has been sleeping through the night since she was 4 weeks old! One night I put her down and she just kept sleeping! She now sleeps from 7pm-6am. I couldn't believe how easy it was!"
Oh, go to hell with yourself, lady.
And it's not just about sleeping. Her baby also never cries! Her little one held up his head at 6 weeks. Her 2-month-old rolled over. Her 7-month-old woke up and starting walking. And, of course, her 1.5 year old potty trained himself.
But the fun doesn't stop there.
To add insult to injury, I get weekly emails from The Bump to help me track Max's progress as a human being. It's almost as if all of the Bragging Moms out there got together and put together this list of milestones your baby should be reaching each week to be considered 'average'. Nothing makes you feel like a failure as a Mom more than someone telling you all of the things your baby should be doing.
The emails start out very positive: 'Your Baby is 8 weeks old today!'
(Thank you! I know!)
And then they start kicking you when you're down:
"Your baby should be awake for 10 hours a day!"
"Your little one is probably grabbing onto everything in sight!"
"Your baby is now driving!"
First off, at 8 weeks, Max was never awake for 10 hours a day. In fact, I couldn't keep that kid awake for more than 10 minutes. I would feed him and he'd fall into a food coma.
Ahen it comes to grabbing, Max doesn't like to be told what to do.
So encouragement like, "Can you grab the giraffe? See the giraffe, Max? Grab that giraffe!" falls onto deaf ears.
Instead, Max simply stares at the giraffe, then stares at me, as if to say, "Yes, I see the giraffe. I don't much feel like grabbing anything right now. I'll wait until you're not looking."
Max grabs my fingers, the collar of my shirt and my hair. He tries to grab his bottle, only because he's a glutton and loves to eat. But he doesn't grab rattles or plastic toys or million-dollar Sophie. At least not while I'm watching.
At 10 weeks, here's what Max is awesome at:
- Getting millions of kisses
- Spitting out his binky right when you take your hand away so that it falls on the floor
- Getting out of every swaddle known to man
- Letting us know he's hungry
- Falling asleep in my arms and the snapping his eyes open the minute I lay him down in his crib
- Waiting until he has on a clean diaper, is wearing a new outfit and is buckled into his car seat before letting loose mega poop
- Falling asleep during tummy time
- Looking adorable
- Sleeping through our meals at restaurants
- Acting surprised when he sees the same toy he's seen for the last 9 weeks
- Waking you up to eat in the middle of the night as soon as you hit your deepest sleep
- Being the cutest baby in the universe
In my eyes, he's right on track.
Take that, Bragging Mom.