You think you know yourself, then you go and have a baby and suddenly the person staring you in the mirror is a complete stranger. Some changes that accompanied motherhood, I expected — the lack of balance in my emotional state and overwhelming swelling of my heart, for instance. There are other personality traits, however, that have been a tad more surprising…
1. I speak for my baby as if he has adult thoughts and feelings, translating the invisible word bubble above his head for whoever is around. As if every situation he’s in is a New Yorker cartoon in need of a caption.
2. I now speak in third person ALL of the time. Even when I’m talking to my husband its, “mama needs some coffee, mama is going to pump now.” My poor son is going to be totally confused about pronouns.
3. I immediately revert to a high pitch voice whenever speaking to my baby, despite being “theoretically opposed” to baby talk. I some times make a conscious effort to speak to him in a normal tone and end up feeling like a weirdo who’s talking to herself.
4. Words now get “y’s” or “er’s” tacked on at their end. As far as my baby knows, it’s, “eggys, leggys, milkers” etc. Again, for the record, I would prefer he grow up with the kind of mother who treated him like a little adult with a sophisticated vocabulary.
5. I feel responsible for my child’s happiness in every moment. It occurred to me the other day that this obsessive instinct to protect him from feeling any emotion that is not positive probably should have worn off by now. When will this end? According to my mother: never.
6. I make up spontaneous songs, all-day-long, basically turning our life into a musical. I sing about everything I am doing and throw in things like “Roman is the best, Roman is the best,” original material like that.
7. I have become more interested in spending money on baby clothes that he will wear for three months than on my own wardrobe. Completely irrational.
8. I obsessively search and pin nursery decor even though we live in a one bedroom apartment. Still nesting?
9. I spend approximately 10% of the time in conversations with my husband talking about our son’s poop, and 30% coming up with theories about what could be causing his crankiness or crying at any given moment… or why he is still waking up every 2-3 hours at night. “Maybe he’s finally teething” “Or maybe its gas, what did he eat today?” “Has he pooped? Maybe he’s constipated,” “I think he’s over tired,” “Maybe he’s just frustrated that he can’t walk yet.”
10. I want to be with him every moment of the day. I am a stay at home mom who co-sleeps and stresses about leaving him with a babysitter for a few hours on rare occasions. This is not the “bringing up bebe” type of mother I expected to be. This is what I call being an “accidental attachment parent.” Am I the only one who barely recognizes myself?