A confession.

April 24, 2008 at 8:11 am | Posted in The second month | 26 Comments

I’m totally faking this mommy thing.

Meaning: I have no idea what I’m doing.

And the more time passes, the less I seem to know.

I love Baby O so much that it breaks my heart to hear him cry while I try to figure out what he’s telling me.

Is he hungry?

Is it gas?

Is it reflux?

I wish I knew. And could make it better for him immediately.

But I don’t. And I can’t.

And it’s making me feel like a complete failure as a mom.



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  1. oh, s! you know the most important thing-how to love him. babies are a mystery. they sometimes just cry for no reason. you are not a failure. your a gret mom. and NEVER again say such CRAP about my FRIEND.
    you are just having a babd day! it will get better.
    sending you a big ((((HUG)))))

  2. Sending big hugs your way.


  3. You aren’t a failure, but I know how hard it is to not think these things when you just have no idea what to do for your little guy. I’ve had a few days like this too especially when we were trying to figure out M’s eating issues. This parenthood thing just seems like a whole lot of trial and error. I know our mom’s felt the same way on plenty of occassions and we turned out fine. I’m sending you a ton of hugs because I can totally relate to what you posted. Hang in there!

  4. oh sweetie, nobody knows, not even those really smart drs who write the books!
    Jake will cry and I don’t know why, and I start to cry, because it scares me and I don’t know what is bothering him or why he was smiling just 2 seconds ago. Yet, I stopped feeling like a failure because of it about 2 weeks ago. Jake knows I love him, I tell him and Gio CONSTANTLY.
    Christina is right, knowing how to love them is better than knowing how to make it better. You just being his mom and loving him up is enough, I promise.
    I know you’re doing a GREAT JOB !!

  5. I raised 5 children and figuring out why they were crying was always a challenge. Somehow or other, they all grew up OK (and are raising their own children.) As long as you are there trying to meet your child’s needs, giving your child lots of love and sense of security, you are doing a good job.

  6. If you didn’t feel that way, then you would need to worry about failing. Questioning every aspect of parenting IS parenting.

  7. Again: this is 100% NORMAL. No one knows! And it does get harder as time passes, because there are more things it could be–in the beginning, it’s pretty much hunger or pain and that’s it. You are NOT a failure. You are a mom who is learning, like we all have to do. Believe me, everyone feels like they are faking it in those first months. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

  8. Love is all he needs right now — love, and dry diapers and a comfy place to sleep and food. That’s it! You are doing GREAT.

  9. I know it doesn’t feel like it now but everything you are experiencing is totally normal. Unfortunately, for some reason it is the dirty little secret that we as women keep forgetting to share. We give each other advice and information about getting/being pregnant but we seem to forget that it’s the after being pregnant part that rocks your world. Just know that although it doesn’t seem like it- you do know him best; one day soon you will have that light bulb moment. It might be when someone is holding him, or feeding him, or changing him but you will have that moment where you will be able to soothe him better than anyone. The pieces will fall into place- it just takes time. Hang in there.

  10. I feel for you. My son finally got diagnosed with reflux and now all the crying makes sense. It is so hard not to be able to fix them. Hearing him cry makes me feel insecure and afraid because I don’t feel confident yet in what to do. I am hoping with time it gets better.


  11. We were in the store a few days ago and BigP bought some diapers to play with because he has never changed a diaper. I said something about leaving him alone with the baby and he completely freaked out. He said he didn’t know what to do with a baby. He assumes I do. No one knows, I told him. Each child is different, it is all trial and error. Just remind me of this in a few months…

    I’m sure you are doing a wonderful job.

  12. Please don’t feel bad! I knew EVERYTHING about having children UNTIL I had one of my own! 🙂 Parenting is wonderful & hard all at the same time.

  13. It gets better soon–took me a few months to feel like I was more in tune with what my baby needs. It’s not as intuitive as you might think it would be!

  14. Oh, Honey, it is always that way. Even after 4 and all these I still remember the routine, wet?, poopy?,hungry?, gassy? tired?,just needing to develop your neurons? I didn’t learn about the last one until years later, from a PhD friend of mind, but I sure wish that I would have known that sometimes that that old “babies cry” is really true. Just because we gave birth to them and feed them from our own bodied doesn’t mean we have any idea what is going on in their tiny little brains. Totally unfair.
    I also remember once having to put my first born crying daughter into her carseat, strapping her in, and leaving her crying heart out. My neighbor came and took her for 15 minutes so that I could take a shower. It was so liberating for my neighbor to verify for me that there was nothing wrong with her that she was just crying, not hungry, etc. Sometiimes as a new mom we feel inadequate, but a lot of times it is truly a mystery. Please give yourself a break.

  15. Totally normal, sometimes I think even the baby didn’t know why she was crying. And there were times when she was crying and I was crying because I didn’t know what to do. All you can do is trust your instincts and do your best and then just deal with things as they come. Every day it will get a little easier (and a little harder in other ways) but just be confident in your abilities – you really do know what you are doing.

  16. oh Serenity, I know how you feel, but one thing I am sure: we are not a failure… we are just learning! it takes time. I am sure that you are doing a great job

  17. It could be hunger, or gas, or both or a full diaper or the need for closeness or is first growth spurt (which according to my parenting bible “Why the cry” happens around week 5, which is where Baby O is right now, right). You are not a failure as a mom. You are probably the one person baby O cries the least with/at at the moment. Lot’s of hugs.

    Ps: I think the book “Why they cry” is no longer available in English. It is truely the best book we have. It is a common sense kind of book. Maybe you can find it at a second hand book store? I really really recommend it, it gave and still gives me a lot of peace of mind and it can be read in nice “portions” while nursing.

    Pps: I think I never commented on how wonderful and sweet and cute baby O is. I already miss having a newborn in my arms. You are not a failure as a mom, it is a learning experience, every day we learn something new about our babies and they learn a lot of new things about the world.

  18. I think not know (and second guessing yourself) is just part of being a mom. You will learn what he needs just in time for him to change things up on you. Its a never ending cycle of learning but it is soooo worth it. Hang in there and know that every other mom in the whole world has felt the same way.

  19. You ARE doing a great job. He is learning and so are you. He is growing and thriving because of YOU.

    You will both have bad days, but you are a good mom. I promise.

  20. Oh honey, hang in there, I am sure you are doing a great job. It is bound to get easier!

  21. You are not a failure. Is he sleeping OK? (he should be sleeping every 2 hours). Is he burping OK?

  22. I keep apologizing to A and telling her that unfortunately she got the novice mommy.

    I bet we’re both doing much better with this mommy thing than we give ourselves credit for, but it’s easy to lose perspective when the crying happens.

  23. So you mean… you’re just like anybody else??? 😉


  24. You are probably doing a good job. Anyways, no one is an experienced mom the first time, no one.

  25. As long as you love him you are not a failure! Some babies apparently just takes more time to adjust to life outside the womb. My son, who is my second child, also cried (what felt like) constantly and I was never sure of the reason. What helped for him was movement – he would enjoy being pushed in his pram or being driven in the car. Unfortunately it only helped whilst the movement lasted, but at least it gave my ears and nerves a break. They do grow out of this phase, I promise, it will get better. Just keep on loving him and as long as he is putting on weight, everything is ok.

  26. Feel free to write me if you want some ideas. I had a few really difficult babies (including one who screamed hours every evening for months). There are some (completely harmless) things you can try.

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