Last week I babysat for a sweet 3 month old boy. His mama had to go back to work and their daycare wasn't available yet, so I offered to help out on her first day back to work.
Oh, my heart broke for this mama who didn't want to leave her sweet boy. I remember not wanting to be separated from Patrick when he was born. I took him everywhere and thankfully, I didn't have to go back to work and leave him at daycare. My husband and I decided that I would stay home with our children and I left my social work career to be a full-time mom. I know that isn't a choice for everyone, but it was our choice and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Babysitting this sweet boy last week reminded me of a sweet boy 14 years ago. Oh how those days rushed back to me. I took books along that we read to Patrick. I sang the songs we sang to Patrick while feeding and rocking him. I soothed his cries the same way I did 14 years ago.
It also reminded me of that feeling of being a first time mom. I was nervous to take him to Target the first time. I think I put everything we owned in the diaper bag. I remember fretting about driving alone with him. I worried about how to handle it if he cried while I was getting groceries.
I checked to make sure he was still breathing if his nap went longer than normal. I worried if he didn't poop every single day. Since I struggled with breast feeding and not having enough milk for him, I also worried that he wasn't getting the "proper" nutrition.
As a new mom, there are so many uncertainties, first experiences, and questions we don't have all the answers to. My dear new mama friend is struggling with many of those things. I have offered advice and support, but have also listened to let her find her own way, just like I did.
If you know a new mama, be sure to offer her a hug, a few hours off, or a chat. I am sure she will appreciate the support and the chance to brag and show off her new baby!
Patrick clearly isn't a baby anymore, but he will always be the baby that turned me into a Mama!