Dear Mom with a Colicky Baby,
I want you to know that it gets better. Throwing out a “magic age” for when the crying will stop and your life will feel somewhat controllable again does absolutely NO good when you are in the throes of the worst days, so I won’t do it. But, it does get better. This fussiness and discontentment? It has NOTHING to do with your parenting OR your baby’s personality. Your baby doesn’t hate you. He isn’t angry that he was born – though it does feel that way sometimes. It’s OK that maybe you don’t feel that bonded just yet… Your bond will come, and it will be stronger because you’ve been through this battle together.
It’s OK that you sometimes wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into… If you made the right decision to have a baby… If you are cut out for this motherhood thing. It’s OK. You did, and you are, but it’s OK to wonder.
It’s OK to be mad at the parents that seem to be everywhere all of a sudden with bright-eyed babies that coo, and smile, and sleep eleven hours at night. It’s OK that you resent the fact that they can sit at a restaurant and eat in peace while their baby stares at the ceiling contently, and you frantically ask for a to-go box so you can eat in the car. You guys can be friends on the playground in a few years, but for now, it’s OK that you don’t like them very much.
Just know this: You really are doing a GREAT job. You are perfect for that red-faced, angry-bird-like baby that cries while you rock, and shush, and sing, and try every “remedy” known to man. You were CHOSEN to be THAT baby’s mommy. You are ENOUGH.
He loves you. He’s terrible at showing it right now, but he does. You are his home.
He won’t remember these days (not even the hour you let him scream at the top of his lungs from the safety of his crib while you stood in the shower and sobbed). Really, believe it or not, a day will come when YOU hardly remember it yourself…
This baby, he’s HARD. You’re rushing away these weeks, and that’s OK too. This baby will change you. It will be ugly at times, but you will be stronger, more patient, calmer, and more confident as a mom because of these days. He will be SO.MUCH.BETTER one day soon; and, because of all this… YOU WILL BE TOO.
Hang in there Momma!
My “colicky baby” turns four today. Four. I’m happy to report that he did not, in fact, turn into a colicky kid, or even a colicky toddler. As it turns out, he was a lot happier by six months old and easily one of the happiest kids ever by his first birthday. Today, he is smart, funny (SO funny), confident, silly, and kind. His imagination is off the charts. He asks a million questions a day (seriously), and he surprises me daily with the things he already knows. He is the BEST big brother, and he has made so many people SO happy.
This morning, after I fed Nora around 5:30AM, I snuck into his room and cuddled his little sleeping body. His limbs are long and lean now. Every day he is less baby and more boy. I laid there and thought about how different my life was four years ago at that time… We’d only just met an hour earlier. I had NO idea how much my life was about to change. How much he would change me.
He made a mom. He made me better. He taught me more than any class or book ever could. He made me more of myself and taught me to give more of myself at the same time.
I LOVE being his mommy. He is worth every single night I spent feeling crazy in the first few months.
P.S. I first found this song on Pandora’s lullaby station when Sam was an infant, and it quickly became a favorite. The lyrics are oh so true right now. If you are a mom, and you don’t know it, you absolutely must listen to it: “You and Me” by Frances England
On Colic and Being Prepared (before Nora was born)
“When Motherhood Isn’t What You Thought It Would Be: Reflections from Three Years In”
“The Hardest Job” (from when Sam was 3 weeks old)
Your post made me teary-eyed! Happy Birthday to Sam and to you too!
Happy birthday to your baby! 😀
This is so sweet!
This is so beautiful. A message that many mamas need to hear. Brigham wasn’t colicky but he was sick all the time and so he cried and screamed A LOT. But we got through it and we don’t hate each other 🙂
Sophie E says
I came across your blogpost by coincidence and being a new mom to a colicky baby myself, I can relate to almost everything you describe. Watching all those happy parents meet with their new parent friends for brunch while I’m already breaking into a sweat when we have to take the bus makes me feel quite isolated and frustrated at times. So thank you so much for your encouragement. And you are so right, it does get better and I feel that struggling through those very difficult weeks led to a very special bond between me and my daughter.