Truthfully, I'm not afraid of all babies. I'm cool with the 6+ month olds. It's the newborns that freak me out. They're just so small. Who's seen a newborn lately? I've recently been in the company a two day old baby who was, actually, on the big side (over 8 lbs). Even her tiny big self scared the BaJesus out of me. Thankfully she was fast asleep and there was no offer to transfer her to my sweaty palms. Even so, I positioned myself at a safe distance across the room.
You would think that a baby crazy lady like myself would be overly eager to grab whatever babies I was offered. I think it's far more common to squeal and reach out at the sight of one. But I don't. I wish I did. Instead, I get scared and force myself to sit down on the nearest surface (floor included) like a 4th grader who's holding a baby for the first time under strict parental supervision.
Why? The obvious answer: I'm afraid of dropping, crushing, bending, breaking and/or upsetting the tiny person. I'm afraid of being bad at it. Because if I accidentally hurt or upset the baby or if I'm randomly bad at it, that could reflect on my ability as a future mother. If I don't shine at baby holding, the parent could think I'm non-maternal and, worse, I could feel non-maternal.
|Unlike me, Michael Jackson had absolutely no fear of holding his baby...over a balcony.|
There's not a happy ending to this post. I didn't have a break through last week with an exceptionally easy infant. I didn't discovery a zen trick to calm me down at the sight of a newborn. But that's okay. If I'm awkward as hell with everyone else's baby, I have faith that I'll be natural with my own...not because I'm an eternal optimist but because that's what I've been told. Plus, practice makes perfect and when it's your own baby there's a lot of practice.