I thought I knew what type of mother I would be when I found out I was pregnant, laid back and totally easy going. I had tons of experience with children being the oldest sibling, not to mention a bachelors degree in teaching. My brother who was 14 at the time told me he knew the type of mother I was going to be, overprotective. He went on to say I would be the type of mother who wanted to know where her son was at all times, who was there and what they were doing. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but it turns out he was right. When my son was born I realized that this little miracle I created and was able to protect inside my womb for the last 9 months was suddenly exposed to all the dangers of this crazy world we live in. And thus, the overprotective first time mom inside of me was born.
I asked visitors to wash their hands and use sanitizer before holding baby and not to kiss his face, or hands since they go right into his mouth. If that wasn’t enough, when he was about 7 weeks old I had to ask people to use a receiving blanket as a barrier between their clothes and baby after he broke out in a crazy rash all over his face, head, and neck that the doctor said was a contact rash most likely from perfume, makeup, or synthetic materials. Add that to the hand washing and I was probably labeled by most as a lunatic. I started to ease up a little when my son turned 3 months old, but I am still more protective than the average mom, and I won’t apologize for it.
Dear Overprotective First Time Mom,
You are NOT Crazy
No matter how many people make you feel like you are, trust me when I say you are NOT alone. I started to believe it because most of the things I asked people even started to sound crazy to me too after a while. But rest assured, asking people to wash their hands and/or sanitize before they hold your entire world is not too much to ask. Add this feeling to the crazy hormones after giving birth, and you are bound to feel like a crazy person.
It’s OK to say No
When friends and family with multiple young children and toddlers asked if their kids could hold my newborn baby, I felt myself cringe. After spending so much time in the younger elementary classrooms, I understand how many germs are carried by young children. This is something I still struggle with, but I am much more comfortable with now. I am sure I’ll be a lot more flexible on this topic with my future children since my son will be a young child and the newborn baby will be accustomed to these germs from the beginning.
Those Who Care Will Understand
The best feeling in the world for the overprotective mom is for people to understand and be considerate of your requests without making rude comments or faces. The people who were the most understanding and were respectful of my feelings were the people I wanted to spend the most time with. Especially when they understood that my requests were only made in the best interest of my baby, and they wanted me to feel comfortable and relax during our visits.
Do What’s Necessary to feel Comfortable
When it comes to your baby, you have to follow your gut no matter how crazy you may sound to other people. In the end, this is your child and not theirs. Their opinions on how to raise children and handle situations should not matter to you, they aren’t the ones raising your baby. The fact that so many feel they can cross the line and try to tell you how to parent is enough to make anyone feel horrible. Rise above and stick to your guns. You’ll thank yourself later.
Grow Some Tough Skin
I was overwhelmed with the amount of rude comments and out of line facial expressions I ran into while visiting with those who I thought were going to be the most understanding. It is disappointing to think that they are OK with making you feel this way, ESPECIALLY being a new parent and trying your hardest. You may forget exactly what was said, but you’ll never forget how they made you feel. Try to grow some thick skin and don’t take it too personally, since there is literally nothing you can do about it. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my relationship with them or their relationship with my child over it, but stand up for yourself if you are feeling bullied.
This is something that I failed miserably at, and I think it was due to that feeling that I really was crazy. Please don’t make this mistake like I did. You have nothing to apologize for. If people don’t like your requests, they don’t have to hold the baby. Your friends and family don’t have the right to judge you as a parent, just as they don’t have the right to judge you as a person. Everyone is different. Diversity should be the norm by now.
Hormones are Evil
No matter how many times I told myself I was doing what was best for my baby, I still would get the overwhelming feeling like I was alone and nobody understood me. Add that feeling, lack of sleep, rude comments, and hormones together and you’ll have a few emotional breakdowns guaranteed. If you need a good cry, call someone who is extremely supportive and vent to them. I did this on a few occasions and I felt a lot better after.
Over-protectors, unite! Share this with your friends and family. Let those overprotective moms know they are not alone and you support them. Understand that everyone is different, and accept them for who they are.Make sure to follow Artsy Mama Bear on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, or subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter! :) This post may contain affiliate links, read our Disclosure Policy for more information.