We all do it; we ask about the baby first, which is natural and all OK. It’s a new life, and it’s beautiful.
I never felt left out when people came over to see AJ as a baby in the first weeks of his life. I found it perfectly fine that they didn’t ask me how it was with me because I didn’t want to be the one who killed the mood. I would have, the question, “how are you.” would have been a loaded answer. I had a c-section and major stomach surgery, and all I could do was sit in bed, get out to shower and pee, and the short walk through the house before I got tired and went back to bed. I didn’t have a perfect answer for that question except that I felt like shit, tired and sore.
As you might have read before, I wasn’t the instant mom; it has taken me a whole year to become a mom to settle in the role of motherhood.
Only others might feel left out; I still did at some point. All I talked about was my baby, how he was doing, how he grew, ate, and didn’t sleep. I get it; I genuinely do. But I was still there, the person who cared for that little human, who made my night into days and my days into nerve-wracking minutes. If I think about it now — a beautiful period even when it’s complicated. It takes everything from you and gives you nothing back. In the first few months, that is.
I admit that when people told me it would be surviving the first few months, I chuckled and waved it away. It wouldn’t and couldn’t be that bad, right? In the end, it was. At least for me. I survived the days and nights while I felt myself, Serena, slip away and turn into nothing but a mom. And nobody, or at least that’s how it felt for me, saw it happening. I asked for help at some point; I know myself well enough to see the red flags and pull on the break.
Still, people asked about the baby first before they asked me. And even then, it felt like it was just a social standard and not meant.
I understand it isn’t great to hear how shitty something is when you didn’t experience it yourself or haven’t. And that hearing the same sad story over and over isn’t fun either. But it isn’t fun for that person living in it. Talking helps me give a new perspective, an outlet, and a moment to feel like shit before I know I need to get my stuff sorted out.
Those who asked me genuinely how I was doing made my day. They pulled me through the shitty nights, knowing I wasn’t alone. Because you aren’t, being a parent is a whole new world, life, and adjustment. It’s not easy, even if you have a textbook child. It takes a part of you, and you might never see it back. You also get something back for it, love, and funny moments when they learn new stuff. *chuckles*
But remember, the baby might be cute and new in life. The mother AND father are new too, even if it is a second or third….. Ask both of them how they are doing, and let them know it is alright to be sad, angry, tired, and over the moon happy.
“How are you, and I mean you!”