Hi Is This Normal,

Is it normal that I do not like people (even relatives) take my baby? Is it normal that I still have trouble handing my mother in law my daughter? I know I should be grateful that they want to take care of her and give me some time off… but it seems visceral! Even tired and hungry, I do not feel comfortable « sharing » my baby.

Dear Mine,

For a solid 5 weeks after my oldest was born, I didn’t feel OK letting even her dad hold her. Like, I let him? But I also hovered around like a shadow, making sure he was holding her right (because only I could hold her right, obviously). It was exactly as you’ve described: visceral. I had an almost physical need to have her in my arms and with me after she was born. “Can I hold the baby?” “Oh, that’s so sweet! But … no.” This little person was inside of me, and now outside of me, but it still felt very much like she was tethered to me and I didn’t want to cut that cord. It didn’t feel right or comfortable. I was way more relaxed with my youngest, LOL. Just passed her off to whomever had a free set of arms, pretty much. But that first taste of motherhood was INTENSE.

Verdict? Totally normal. Your family loves that baby, no doubt. But they have no idea what it feels like to have her literally inside of you. Transitioning from life-giver to life-sustainer is a slow process, and it can be hard to get to the point where you feel comfortable with other people caring for her. The concept of letting go and relinquishing some control? Feels impossible! You will, however, start to feel more comfortable with the idea of someone other than you caring for her. This isn’t a one-woman show, and it’s so important to have that support. Don’t force it right now, and take baby steps. Maybe have your mother-in-law come over and hang with you and the baby at home at first. Take a shower, do some things around the house. Not only will it be good for you to be able to relax a bit, but it’s good for your baby to start to develop those bonds with other people in her life.

But I do want to stress that you need to take care of you, too. Your baby’s well-being is tied to your well-being. When you’re tired or hungry or just tapped out, you need to rest and eat and recharge. You’re a mom now, yes. But you are still very much you! Care for you, as much as you care for her. What you’re feeling right now is normal, but it will also start to feel normal to “share” her with people you love and who love her. She’s a lucky girl to have so many of those people, and so are you!

 

Sharing is (Self-)Caring,

Is This Normal



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