Most of my friends fall into two categories: friends with no kids or friends with kids who are older.
When it was our time to become parents, our experience was so unique compared to everyone else’s that we knew. People were intrigued to hear about it, but I didn’t have a lot of those, “Ugh, TELL me about it. When WE were 700 miles away from our unborn child, I was all blah blah blah’” moments.
Prior to our son’s birth I read TONS of blogs and comments and even flirted with the community boards on a few websites. But that’s as far as I went. I never announced myself or shared. I was more of a message board stalker (totally acceptable behavior in my book, btw).
After we got home with Max, I focused on being a mom. I was so overjoyed to have this time with him. I wanted to do and learn everything all by myself.
So I didn’t reach out to fellow Moms.
Look how easy this is:
I don’t know why, I just didn’t.
Maybe part of it was that Mr. KK and I thought of ourselves as two relatively smart individuals, and that we could figure this "whole parenting thing" out on our own.
Check us out! Don't we look like we know what we're doing???
Another reason might have been that I was one of the oldest one of my friends to have a baby, and maybe I was too proud to ask them any questions. I felt that they all did it, I should be able to do it, too. I was older! I was wiser! Well, I was definitely older.
But what about new moms who weren’t friends of mine? Certainly I could chat with strangers about the woes of motherhood. My pediatrician’s office posts signs about a New Mom group that meets every Wednesday night where moms gather and chat about the good, the bad and the ugly. They bond! I could have put on my Big Girl pants, tucked Max in his car seat, and commiserated. I could have been part of a local mom community!
But, still, I didn’t.
Instead, I kept mostly to myself. Of course friends and family came by to visit often; I wasn’t a totally recluse. But I kept quiet about new motherhood. I didn’t cry on friends’ shoulders. I didn’t bother them with a zillion questions. And I didn’t vent on message boards.
Because everything was going along swimmingly! I felt horribly guilty sharing that with Moms whose lives weren’t quite as rosy.
Plus, I didn’t want them to hate me.
Also, Max is like some bizzaro Fake Baby who is super easy to take care of.
Did I mention that I didn't want them to hate me?
First off, I was healthy and felt great! I didn’t suffer through the trauma known as childbirth (or any of the after effects that can rival any horror movie). I wasn’t recovering from skin tearing (um, you have stitches where??). My boobs weren’t sore. I was zipping up the same jeans every day that I wore 9 months earlier (I KNOW. I’m sorry!).
And because I wasn’t recuperating, I was able to multi-task like the Type A that I am. While Max napped, I would prep gourmet meals for us to eat each night. I’d put out happy hour for when Mr. KK got home from work with snacks and cocktails (no breastfeeding = adult beverages for Mama). I wasn’t trying to show other Moms up, I was just trying to keep busy with stuff other than folding laundry and watching talk shows.
Which leads me to sleep. I was never tired. Why? Because Max was a sleeping superstar. Since the day we got home he’s always slept in 4-5 hour stretches (thank you, Similac). In the first two months I think we slept until 8:30 every morning. I read so many blogs and comments and articles about new moms walking around like zombies because their babies would get up every 2 hours (some said every 45 minutes!) so they weren’t sleeping at all. I think sharing the fact that I was getting a solid 10 hours of sleep in each night might earn me a punch in the face.
Our little sleeping hero:
Speaking of awesome feats of sleep, from a little over 3 months, Max started sleeping 11-12 hour stretches each night…and I mean 11 hours STRAIGHT with no wake-ups*. When we shared our tremendous sleeping-through-the-night news with our pediatrician she politely warned us, “I wouldn’t go telling other moms about this. They might not like you very much.”
And then there’s feeding time. Max is a champion eater. He’s been on the same formula they started him on in the hospital. He doesn’t spit up. He’s had zero reactions. We are yet to see vomit. Fake Baby strikes again!
And that, my friends, is why I kept to myself. Not because I was being a hermit, or a snob, but because I was afraid other new moms would cause some serious bodily harm to me when they heard I was well-rested, cooking gourmet meals each night and that Max never cried.
And it’s also why Max will be an only child. Because you know if we had a second, Fake Baby would go out the window, and new ‘this-is-what-it’s-really-like-baby’ would test my limits and sanity like nobody’s business!
*We’ve only had 2 bad nights with Max, and one of them was New Year’s Eve, and I’m still convinced he didn’t want to sleep and miss all the fun.