Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm Afraid of Holding Babies

No, the title of this post isn't a phrase from Stuff People Google (though it certainly sounds like it is).  Rather, it's an accurate description of how I feel when a new parent excitedly hands me her teeny tiny bundle of joy.  I sometimes decline.  Not outright decline, but sort of blow it off.  No, no, no...she's so comfortable we don't have to move her around, you hold onto her or I have to run to the bathroom, I'll hold him when I get back.

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.


Mrs. Pancakes said...

Just ame acoss your blog...I hear you about the newborns...they are so fragile!

Meghan said...

This is a MASSIVE fear of mine. Peter giggles a little when people ask if I'd like to hold their newborns and I am struck with fear. I've asked if their child is sturdy enough for me before. ;)

WW said...

Next time you are around one (and the mother is not a psychopath) offer to change the diaper for her. Go to the nursery alone and get comfortable turning the baby over, moving its limbs around, and dressing and undressing them. This gives you a little more reassurance that the baby will not break without the stress of mom watching your every move.

The Mrs./The Mom said...

Ha! I was the same way. Babies had to be at least 3 months before I would hold them. The newbies (as I call them) seem sooo fragile!

Tabitha said...

Thank you for posting thing. I feel the EXACT same way. I'm 34 weeks pregnant now and I know it'll be different when it's my own baby, but my other friends' babies make me nervous. They're so delicate.

Defining Tabitha

Jackson said...

Ha! I was the same way. Babies had to be at least 3 months before I would hold them. The newbies (as I call them) seem sooo fragile!