6.03.2011

My Crying Tour

In the last 24 hours I've cried in the following public places:

1. Kid Snips: The stylist told me to walk away from W when he was clinging to me and acting like he was being tortured in his taxi shaped chair as he watched Winnie the Pooh and the nice lady sprayed his hair down with water. I walked away, feeling the emotions rise. Then she started to cut his hair and it got shorter and shorter and suddenly I'm that strange lady sobbing to her husband in Kid Snips. The stylist only then realized we also had a baby with us, asked how old he was, and then nodded sympathetically. The woman at the desk told me about crying all over the place with her newborn daughter. I appreciated their concern and shared experiences. But, I wasn't embarrassed. I didn't need comforting, because I know how it goes.

2. Whole Foods: We did some shopping and then had lunch there. A woman at the next table spent about 20 minutes full on staring at the boys. We probably looked like a happy little family, sharing lunch on a Thursday with the chattiest toddler around. When she walked away Matt commented on how nice it must be to be that age and see young families out and about. My response: "Are you kidding me? It must be terribly depressing. Let's not talk about this." Cue wistful tears.

3. Car Dealership: We currently have one sedan. It works fine, but with two car seats and a dog, we're not exactly going to be comfortably cruising to Michigan or Wisconsin. Remember when we had that Chevy Traverse? Well, now that's what I want... So, we're looking for one. We have some specific criteria for what we want and what we're willing to pay and it's going to be hard to find the right car. I'm not sure why, but when Matt explained we have a newborn and a two and a half year old and need to upgrade to a family car to the sales guy, I just got all sappy and teary. But, luckily, no one noticed.

So, why the crying? Why the anxiety? Because I had a baby about two minutes ago, that's why. I knew this would happen, it happened with W.

I know I'm not crazy. Ok, well not totally crazy (I'm a little nuts, sure). Lots of extra estrogen, total lack of sleep, recovering from GIVING BIRTH, and the whole birth/mortality wake up call is like a recipe for emotional disaster area. I know how scary it was the first time around, but with a little perspective I've learned to laugh (in between the crying) and remind myself that it will pass.

And these all just happened yesterday. I have weeks of random crying fits to look forward to. Not to mention the nightly "Will I actually get any sleep tonight?" anxiety attacks, the guilt about rocking W's world, the post-maternity body issues, the slap in the face that W is getting so old and this baby is going to be huge in about 3 seconds, and the shift from working mom to maternity leave...

So, if you know a new mom or if you are a new mom and these crying fits scare you, know that they'll pass. Sure, thinking about your sweet little kid going off to school brings on anxiety about the possibility of other kids being mean to him. And, yeah, suddenly you're convinced that every situation is dangerous and germs are covering every surface of the world. But, hey, that's normal. It's normal to be freaked out. Super mom is not born with the baby. Hell, super mom doesn't even exist. We're human, we're emotional, we're overwhelmed, we're flawed, but we have a huge capacity for love. An ability I never knew I had until I became a mom to W. And now that I've got two... Watch out, emotions.

A little advice: If you see a tired looking woman (who might be pregnant, but is dragging around a baby carrier) crying, the best thing you can do is pretend not to notice, turn your head, and be on your way. She doesn't need a hug. She needs a nap and maybe some ice cream.

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