by Team Scary Mommy
May 24, 2019 Updated July 22, 2020
Being a new mom can be a frightening experience. Before you had a baby, all you had to do was worry about yourself. That was hard enough. Now you have to worry about someone else, and they don’t even send you home with a manual? What are they even thinking? If you’ve said to yourself, “Who thought sending me home with this baby was a good idea? I have no idea what I’m doing!” — you’re not alone.
Here are some fears we’ve all had that we eventually got over. Well, mostly.
1. Cat vs. Dog
People love to ask the timeless questions: Are you a cat person or a dog person? I like to ask: Which are you more scared of when holding a baby? I used to love cats until I had my baby. You don’t have to walk them, and they’re quiet. Too quiet. So quiet that you don’t hear them coming right up onto your legs playing a game of Crazy Eights. Having a cat in the house is like trying to jump through tires while balancing a baby in your arms. Step aside cat — I’M WALKIN’ HERE! To answer your question: Dogs.
2. Fingernail Phobia
They are minuscule yet razor sharp. Leave ‘em be, and they can draw blood when their incoherent baby arms start to flail uncontrollably. Try to cut ‘em, and suddenly your pits are in a hot sweat and you have double vision trying not to inflict harm on a tiny finger.
3. The Public Diaper Change
At home, I’m good. But what happens if you have to change the baby in public? On the bus? At a cafe? I’m not qualified to handle this without a changing table. What did people do before those fold-down wall things were invented? Seriously. Thankfully her Huggies Little Snugglers fit like a hug.
4. Supporting the Head
It’s flopping like a rag doll, and well OK, once I maybe didn’t have my hand on it at all times. Can you permanently ruin a neck? Is that a thing? Also, there are way too many soft spots involved in this tiny melon. Please let the head plates join and de-floppify ASAP because it’s too much pressure.
5. A Wet Baby
I barely remember how to bathe myself let alone figure out how to bathe a baby. There’s way too much stuff to remember…like the binky that may be under the couch and the only toy that she likes that’s somewhere in the back seat of the car. Don’t even get me started on the slip-sliding baby body that needs to be double-teamed in order to keep it in an upright position. I cannot bathe a baby alone! Is there something wrong with me? Also, pass the Huggies Natural Care Wipes because she just peed, and we are NOT doing this bath over.
6. Spit Up and the City
There are burp cloths for a reason, but at exactly what point do we go from spit up land to full-on barfing? Seems like I should know this, but my baby is borderline at all times and I can’t tell. Also, her neck rolls usually have a little cottage cheese brewing in them, but I swear I’m getting better at wiping the spit before it gets to this stage.
7. Germs From Other People
“STOP TOUCHING MY BABY’S FACE!” I shout this in my mind to Uncle Carl, but in person, I smile as every fiber in my being cringes at the sight of his giant, unsanitized hand stroking my baby’s cheek. I’ve got to escape. There is no way out. Mom’s work friend Janine is in the next room, and she’s coughing up a lung. I’VE GOT TO GET OUT!
8. Tummy Time Fails
I always remember to do tummy time at the worst time. See No. 6 on barfing. This baby is face planting, crying, and not liking anything to do with her tummy and time. Does the head look flatter than yesterday? Did she lay on her back in the bassinet too long? Why is she a crying, soggy, beached whale and not an over-easy cherub, happily rocking 360 moves?
I told myself I wouldn’t search for weird symptoms, but oh yes, I did search for weird symptoms and now can’t un-see them. There is literally a picture of everything that could go wrong in life with a baby ever. I may need to cut off Wi-Fi for the next six to ten years if I ever want to sleep again.
10. Being Good Enough
This mom stuff is hard. I had no idea how hard. Will I start to feel less like a leaky zombie and more like the moms on TV (OK, not the ones on cable)? When are we going to be at the coo- and-giggles stage and leaving the farts and weird snorts in the middle-of-the-night stage? Also, I need to Google farts and snorts because that last one didn’t sound normal. See No. 9.
The good news is that I got over every single one of these fears and did make it to the cooing stage! OMG cooing is the best thing ever. The cat is still trying to trip me, but I’m not asking for miracles. Somehow, I figured out how to trust my intuition over my fears, and it sort of works.
I’m still googling things, but who’s not? Right? Lisa? Anyone?
This article was sponsored by Huggies®, who believes that the first time you hug your baby, the rest of the world will slowly melt away and your life will be forever changed. At Huggies®, we are inspired by the loving bond between you and your baby and we’ll never stop finding ways to hug more like you. #HuggOn