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September 7, 2018

An Attitude of Platitude

When I was single, people would tell me countless times, "You'll meet someone!" until I finally snapped back, "You don't know that!" Then they would assure me that they did despite having no proof nor even a crystal ball. I did eventually meet someone, but that's besides the point. They didn't know that. If they had, they could have warned me that I would meet a nice guy who wants to be paid a thousand dollars a month for his services. Instead, het gets a glare or an eyeroll depending on my mood.

Then when I became a mom, the platitude changed to, "You're doing great!" which was usually following their advice on what I'm doing wrong. I would be soaking in spit up, crying because my baby couldn't latch yet, get scolded for supplementing with formula, have garbage piling up and a mountain of wet diapers next to me, and they'd say, "You're doing great!" The final straw was a baby product that said, "You're doing great!" on the back, and I threw it against the wall and yelled, "You don't know me!"

The baby was doing 'great', but I wasn't doing well. Of course, I had postpartum depression because if there's a way to be nuts, I'll certainly find it. Even though I began seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in PPD, I felt detached from my newborn and was afraid that if I told anyone, they'd take him away. There were things I didn't understand, like if he didn't burp after eating, he wouldn't explode. I would spend a half hour trying to get a burp out of him, sobbing because I just wanted sleep or to run away. I needed my mom to help me with the cooking, cleaning, and teaching me what to do. More than anything, I wanted her to meet my son. My expectation was that I would experience a motherly euphoria, but instead an unexpected grief hit me.

As the hormones shifted, and I got used to being held hostage by a baby, I began growing to love my son better each day. Don't get me wrong, I always loved him. Since he was the size of a waterbear, I've loved him. Even though I wasn't feeling the warm fuzzies, if someone so much as looked at my baby wrong, I would have mauled them then taken a dump on their corpse. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it might not be.

Jason pointed out one day that I was doing great because our baby was thriving. Soon my older sister came to visit and helped with cooking, cleaning, and showing me how to put the baby on the dryer when he won't shut up already. So yes, I begrudgingly admit that I did meet someone, and I was doing great. There's no way that baby box could have known that though.
What mama? I'M doing great? You don't know me!