Possessive New Moms
Possessive new moms. You know what we’re talking about here. It’s really the maternal instinct on hyper-drive. “You’re not going to hold MY baby . . . you might DROP the baby, so I’LL hold the baby and keep her SAFE.” Or how about this: “I love this precious little one sooooo much; I’m never going to let her go!” And my personal favorite, “I’m her mama, so nobody can care for her as well as I can.”
Almost all new moms can relate to these sentiments, to one degree or another, at some point after their precious bundle of joy is born. However, acting on these feelings (and maintaining that level of anxiety) is inherently unhealthy for both you and your child. Having these feelings is not the issue: it’s what you do as a result of the feelings that matters.
In my experience, the best way to handle this is by reasoning through your emotions. I know, you’re thinking, “What?” I promise you, it helps. Let me give you a few examples based on the quoted remarks above. You yourself may drop the baby; after all, no one is perfect. Unless the other person is a known klutz, then you are probably well advised to ask the person to sit (to minimize risks if you are that concerned), and then let the person share in the joy of holding your new baby. Oh, and there’s no way you’re going to hold onto a child forever. For one thing, it’s impractical. You have work to do, you’ll need to eat and shower, and there are probably other tasks you need to perform that will require both of your hands (hence your not being able to hold your baby at those times). For another thing, as your child grows, she will likely become gradually more and more independent of you. (Scary, but true . . . and healthy.) And, while it’s true that you can probably care for your baby better than anyone else, that doesn’t mean that no one else can care for her well . . . just not AS well.
In sum, almost all new moms feel possessive, to some degree, at times when their children are tiny. However, by reasoning through the emotions, new moms can work their way through the possessiveness, release their anxiety, and let their little bundles of love be a joy to others as well.
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