Monday, March 17, 2008


I often hear of other moms who can't stand the idea of being separated from their newborns, who cry when leaving their little ones behind with even the most trustworthy babysitter, and who rush back to be by their side as soon as they can.

That is so not me.

Today I had my 6 week postpartum check-up with Nathalie. I scheduled this appointment a week or more ago, and told Zach about it so he could plan to spending the afternoon here with D so I could spend some time in town after the appointment. I had some different errands in mind to run... namely, shopping. And being by myself. And let me tell you, I have been dreaming of this day ever since.

Does that make me a bad mom?

To be completely honest, I feel like I'm still building up that bond with D. Mothers talk about this instant, all-consuming, omg-I've-never-known-love-till-I-had-my-baby type of LOVE for their child. I'm waiting for that feeling to hit me. Sure, I think he's an awesome and super adorable baby, and I feel closer, more comfortable, and fall a little more in love with him ever day. But I'm not quite there yet. Which is strange considering how much I have always loved children and the strong feelings I've developed for children I've cared for in the past. But it also is apparently totally normal for it to take a few months for parents to truly bond with their child, and I know it will come.

And maybe then I'll feel supreme anxiety at going someplace without my baby, or find it impossible to think of anything else. But now? While I adore being with him, this afternoon of freedom, well, it was glorious. =P


  1. I remember the first time I went out without Felix (I can't remember how old he was) and I felt so great. Light and free. Still to this day I feel like I have two identities or two modes, mom mode and non-mom mode. I felt pretty intensely bonded to Felix but I also think the first few weeks/months are hard because they are sort of just lumps that eat, sleep, and poop. Completely adorable lumps but ya know, they don't do that much. That is why we get so excited when they start to make noises, smiles, expressions because finally you are getting a little something back. Ya know?

    Enjoy your alone time! You are a fantastic Mom and it sounds like you are bonding just fine :)

  2. You aren't a bad mom at all, I think it is very normal!

    Hope you enjoyed your shopping!

  3. obviously i know nothing about being a parent, but i do know that everyone needs a break sometimes. good on you for getting out and getting some "you" time. :)

  4. I'm a better mom because I enjoy my breaks from my kiddo. Its important for my sanity. If she is gone too long, I'll feel a bit lost or as if I've forgotten something.

    I don't believe in instant bonding and attachment. My love becomes apparent in my fierce protectiveness, my nightmares about what could happen, and the warm fuzzy feelings when we cuddle.

  5. There is a girl in my french class that has a sitter once or twice a week so she can attend class and have some 'me' time afterwards. Guess you would have to pump though...

  6. You sound very normal! Our situation was a bit different as A was in NICU for 17 days and I couldn't even hold her til she was 10 days old, so when she did finally come home, I never wanted to leave her. Now, it's a different story ;-). I've had to go away a few times overnight and I really look forward to having the uninterrupted "me" time. All moms need it.

  7. First of all, you are so lucky that you can get away from him for a few hours at a time! When Ellie was that small all she wanted to do was nurse all the time and it was impossible to predict when I could be away from her for any length of time (although she blessed us from almost day 1 with sleeping through the night--guess this was the tradeoff). What I would have given for a hot bath without her crying in the background! In any case, enjoy it, mama. You deserve it. The loves grows a little bit each day but it did not hit me all at once either. For the longest time I thought of her as a little creature or space alien. Now that she's a bit more predictable, I just think of her as Ellie :-).

  8. Blogger just ate my comment. This makes me angry.

    The gist:
    I would be worried about you if you did NOT want time alone. It doesn't mean you don't love your baby, it means you are a healthy person and you are still YOU. There's something wrong with women who cannot exist if they are not attached to a child (I'm thinking of a particular family member... can you guess who?)

    I don't know nothin' about birthin' no babies, but I'd be willing to wager most of this "all-consuming, omg-I've-never-known-love-till-I-had-my-baby type of LOVE" tak is mostly a case of the emperor's new clothes. After all, what else can you say after the other mother said that about her kid?

    On a slightly related note... we were talking this weekend about the time Mom flew to the US for Marcie's wedding when you were 18 mos. old and was gone for 3 weeks... and when she came back, you didn't remember her. So, the moral of the story: whenever you come back here, bring the baby. At least for the first 2-3 years.

  9. Anonymous10:01 PM

    My two cents would say all these comments are great. Marcy, you are a fantastic natural at mothering I believe. Babies need consistency and continuity, but not enmeshment or symbiosis. Staying yourself, with the expanded definition of now being somebody's mommy, means you do both -- remain an individual who exists in your own right (not just because you parent), while "being yourself" now incorporates your need/desire to assure that your child's needs are met. Not all by you-- cause that really can't happen without you neglecting part of your needs, and closing off the baby's chances of learning through and connecting with others. All in balance, and obviously it's a thing that shifts over time. You've spent the first month and a half basically 24/7 with him (pretty usual, given that he's depended on you for his total nutrition and you've needed to figure out how to assure he's feeding and sleeping and pooping and peeing and breathing well, etc. --your constant eye's meant you can reliably note changes, gauge anything wierd, etc. And now you can amplify his "village" to include more than you and Zach and Grandma, and more time with people who aren't you. I agree with Cristina, if you don't have to I wouldn't leave for 3 weeks. He and Zach and his world will benefit from you having some time to shop, sleep, be with friends, etc. Trust yourself. You'll know.
    Love, Mom

  10. All sounds normal to me! A little time away is good for the sanity. It does take time to build a bond. I was not one of those instant bond moms either.

  11. good for you for getting out, and for not scolding yourself for doing so. i think some mom^s feel they "shouldn't" enjoy that, or even shouldn't go out, and won't go! which in the end is bad for the mom, and those at home because you need it.



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