January 15, 2012

Know Thyself (and thy mothering pitfalls)

I have a confession to make.

I'm a little bored.

I know, I know - I have a brand new baby and it's all so wonderful and I really shouldn't be anything but over the moon.  But I feel I should write the truth here, so here it is.  The truth is, I'm not really a newborn person.

Me and my girls on Wren's first day

The honeymoon phase of the first week is over.  We're into week three now and exhaustion and boredom are commonplace around these parts.  The first time I had a baby I was shocked at how much I didn't love life with a newborn.  In fact, it scared me and made me feel guilty.  Like somehow I wouldn't be a good mother if I didn't absolutely cherish every day with my new baby.

I know better now.
I know myself better.
I know more about what kind of mother I am.
I am comfortable just saying it like it is:

I am a devoted mother.

I love my children deeply and would do anything for them.

I am pretty good at what I do - I think I raise quality human beings.

However, caring for a newborn bores me to tears.

There you have it, people.  That's the truth about me.  I know myself well enough to know that I thrive on external validation. (hello, why do you think I blog?)  And I understand enough about being a mother to know that validation runs a bit thin coming from your kids.  I don't expect Ellie to compliment me for dressing her so sharply or filling her days with creative activities - my expectations are not that unrealistic.  I feel validated when my child smiles back at me.  When she waves and laughs at something I do.  When she converses with me.  When she shows me something I taught her.  For me, those things are all immensely satisfying. 

Newborns - not so much.

Don't worry, I love Wren.  She is perfect and wonderful.  She is sweet and snuggly.  She will grow and develop and I will fall more in love with her as time goes by.  Right now we are all healthy and relatively happy.  Just adjusting to life and waiting for the new normal to come around.  It's OK to be bored for a bit.  It is the ebb and flow of life.  Right now we're ebbing - we'll start flowing again soon, I'm sure.

I hope to be blogging more in the coming week.  And let's have no mistake about it, I'll really be looking forward to your comments. 

Because if there's anything I crave right now it's a healthy dose of adult interaction and validation.


  1. I totally understand where you are coming from Whit. Before Charlie was born my mom (a total newborn person) kept telling me about how much she adored each one of us as brand new babies and hated to see us first leave behind that newborn stage. So I felt like maybe there was something wrong with me when I thought the newborn stage was hard work and all I wanted was a little smile or something from my little guy. I was thrilled to see the newborn stage start to fade and it made me feel guilty. I love the newborn pictures that so perfectly capture that sweet snuggly squishy stage, but I am glad that it quickly passes.

    P.S. You are super cute in that picture. You are awesome.

  2. I've been thinking the same thing lately. I love Ellie. She is getting to be so much fun now that she can interact...but that fun doesn't last as long as people think. I am not a toddler person. I am a middle school/high school person. I think that you just have to enjoy what you can, and the bad things about that stage make you excited for the next one, even if it's the terrible threes. Good luck. And keep blogging because this bored mommy needs something to read, last week was especially dry. (P.S. I also think it's because winter babies=boredom)

  3. Hey Whitney! Hang in there! Andrew was born Sep. 25, and I'm just now starting to feel back to normal--he's letting me get a little sleep these days. It's not the easiest time in the world.

    We're still planning on visiting y'all sometime...

  4. Whitney, I love you! I love how truthful you are on your blog! And lucky for you, kids grow fast, so this newborn stage isn't going to last long and before you know it Wren will be smiling at you!

  5. I appreciate your post. We both need to get out...soon.

  6. way to tell it how it is. I can't tell you how similar I felt. On top of it, I kind of hate nursing. Not always, but when you have visitors or actually make it out and about somewhere and need to feed the baby, I don't love it. I am good at meeting the baby's needs and they are sweet and tiny, but it's a little slow. The first time they look right at you and smile, then it really get's you. It also feels different with baby number two. You totally have company, she is so sweet, love seeing pics!

  7. I love you Whitney! I think it's important for new moms (or soon to be) to hear this and know that it's normal. Can't wait to see you again!

  8. I feel like we are communicating without words right now.

    Of all the states in all the world, you had to live far away from mine. What's up with that...

  9. Thanks for all the comments, you guys. Obviously you heard my pleas for attention.

    Katie, I had no idea you had a similar experience! So glad we have this experience to share.

    Holly - you know we connect without words all the time. I miss you, girl.

  10. love that you are so real. being a mom isn't always fun. it's true. but it gets more fun, huh?! good thing!

  11. Thanks for being so honest. Jen posted this article on Facebook yesterday, I think you'll be able to relate: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html

  12. I'm actually a bit relieved to hear that newborn boredom can be achieved, even with a toddler running around. It gives me hope-- possibly false hope, but enough that maybe there will be more Lees after all. (But not yet.)

  13. Whitney, I know how you feel!! I love the newborn phase...for a few days. Then I don't really love having a baby until about 6 months old. Don't worry. Hang in there and Wren will be 6 months ( or 9 months, or 1 or 18 months) before you know it and you won't be bored anymore.

    How is Ellie doing?