I have to laugh when I think back at the blunders I committed in my sleep-deprived stupor during our oldest son Mason’s first few months. And I often marvel at the fact that my kids are each still in one piece.
I’ve never shared these stories with anyone. But I know you won’t judge me, so here goes…
When Mason was 10 weeks old, our family stayed at my in-laws’ home, and all the baby gear was borrowed from my sister- and brother-in-law, Monique and Geoff. To share our room with Mason, we were loaned a portable crib/play pen that came with a few nifty attachments—one for diaper changing and one to use as a bassinet.
We’d been there for a few nights when Monique and Geoff came to visit. Geoff came into our room to see how our setup was working out and his face went blank. He called Monique in. She entered, looked around, and shot him a glance that I now know means “Shush! Don’t laugh!”
Then, in her kindest voice, she explained that we had actually been using the diaper-changing attachment as a bassinet. This meant that we had been putting our precious newborn to sleep every night on a surface with all the safety standards of a kitchen counter.
Luckily, Mason hadn’t started to roll yet.
And then there was the time I learned the hard way that my little 12-pounder wouldn’t provide the proper counter-balance to a heavy purse, diaper bag, and four shopping sacks hanging on the handles of the stroller.
I still can’t remember what made me let go of the handles—a water fountain visit or an itch or something—but it happened in a flash. In one millionth of a second, gravity took hold of the overloaded buggy and the whole thing lurched backward, hitting the ground and sending my tiny baby flying heels over head, fortunately landing in the bunched-up canopy, somehow still strapped in.
We both burst into tears that time.
In my lowest moments during those early days, it was easy to beat myself up about being the worst mom ever. But now that I’ve been around the block a few times, I know it’s not true. We all make mistakes and with a little luck and a whole lot of self-love, we can own our new roles with pride and confidence. Here’s to learning along the way.