I’ve been scared a lot in my life. Haunted houses, public speaking, and coming across a spider next to my bed in the middle of the night. Yet there is nothing, NOTHING that compares to the fear that you experience when you look at that tiny little baby and realize that YOU are responsible for her well-being and survival.
I remember sitting up in the middle of the night, sleep-deprived and sore from my c-section, wondering how am I going to do this? I just want to sleep and heal and be left alone! How am I competent enough to take care of this defenseless baby!
You may feel like an imposter. Motherhood imposter syndrome is real! It just happens. Maybe it’s the hormones, or maybe it’s the fact that you’ve never done anything as important as this, but self-doubt is common in those early days, weeks, months. In fact, mom guilt or the doubt if you are “doing it right” never fully goes away, but, what you do come to realize is there is no one right way.
Finding my groove as a mom wasn’t as easy as everyone said it would be. I hated breastfeeding, I missed sleeping through the night, I was super afraid of walking around the house with my baby because I was terrified I would drop her. That last one was SUCH an irrational struggle that I look back on and think what in the world was I so afraid of? But, in those early weeks she was so tiny and my phobia of her somehow spontaneously jumping out of my arms kept my anxiety high.
I would hold her so close as I walked from room to room, never wanting to multi-task by carrying something else at the same time. How could I be trusted with this precious little creature? It wasn’t long before this moment in time that I was doing jello shots in college and now I AM A MOM.
That was my crazy inner-monologue.
However, little by little that inner-monologue changed. Instead of obsessing over if I was going to drop her, I started thinking about that meeting that was coming up on Monday, or what groceries I needed to pick up. Things that weren’t completely consumed by baby. Learning my baby’s cues were a big part of this. Being able to read her needs from wanting a dry diaper, to being overtired helped transition from feeling so foreign to coming into natural actions like burping her after feeding, giving her a bath, or clipping her fingernails.
When those moments of self doubt would creep back in I would mentally remind myself that she and I were Team Baby, and Team Baby doesn’t give up!
Months into baby I realized I no longer felt like I was an imposter, and that I truly was her mommy. I still question myself, but I no longer feel like I am doing it from a place of inexperience or fear—it is more of a what route is the best way for us?
Just know, if you are feeling an imposter- you aren’t one. You’ve got this more than you know and baby is lucky to have you!