New moms apologize a lot

November 15, 2012

I know some people think of new mothers as smug, self-satisfied creatures who know what they’ve done is amazing and the rest of the world is irrelevant, but that hasn’t been the case in my experience. New moms apologize. A lot. Sorry about the way I look. Sorry, the house is a mess. Sorry my stroller is so big. Sorry the baby just spit up. Sorry the baby is crying. Sorry if the way I feed my baby might offend you. Sorry, I just forgot what I was going to say because THE BABY ATE MY BRAIN! Aargh! I’m not myself, as you can see. Sorry.

This is me, although getting a little progressively less so I as I slide amongst this matrix of knowing what I’m doing and accepting a new reality. I think some of us (self-described) educated, somewhat-hip moms who think, “I read STFU Parents! I get it!” then feel dismayed when we realize that we are not exactly the same, plus baby. And having a baby is not like Angelina Jolie having a baby. It’s not striding through the airport all skinny with great sunglasses clutching your tiny quiet child to your chest as you go off and be awesome. It’s very much like it is in the movies and TV, which makes you feel like such a cliche as your hair falls in your face and you wonder if you got poo under your nails and your shirt has been spit up on but you don’t feel like adding to the laundry pile and you wonder if you should keep picking up the house or just only do it when people come over and not just people, but really important people like the president.

The craziest thing is, I have noticed that some of us new moms continue to apologize amongst even our own kind. I had lunch with a girlfriend the other day who has a baby and she seemed frazzled as she tried to play it cool, juggling a 20-pound baby and a 30-pound stroller out of her car — not to mention a 10-pound diaper bag. I went to a party a new mom threw for other new moms and she seemed worried that all she had for her guests was guacamole and booze. (Let's be real: All you really need is the booze). I saw myself in these ladies and tried to impart the sentiment that, hey, we’re all the same here. I don’t know any of those women who make it all look easy and that they’ve got it all under control. Frankly, I don’t want to. So when we’re around our own kind at least, I hope we can try to let go of apologizing for our current state of being. At the very least we should enjoy that brief moment we don't feel the need to apologize.

I don’t have a really good wrap up to this post. The baby is crying upstairs and I have to cook dinner tonight and currently the table I’m typing this on is festooned with papers and a dirty kleenex and a pacifier and and an empty dog heartworm medicine box and soy sauce packets so my brain is I don't know what. I’m sorry. But I know some of you will understand.

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