I tried to prepare well for motherhood from the very moment I found out that Elizabeth existed. People gave me great advice. Sometimes it was overwhelming. Sometimes it was encouraging. And sometimes it was just plum scary. The one recurring thing with the advice was that it pointed me to my own neediness. I need God to give me grace to mother well. In my journal, I mean blog, I thought it would only be appropriate to write about what advice didn’t prepare me for. So bear with me. The next couple of posts will be boring for those who only want pictures or videos.
One thing I didn’t expect was how strong the mother-hen syndrome (MHS) would hit me. I nannied for a wonderful family for most of my pregnancy. Though they weren’t my children, I often felt MHS creeping as I carried Elizabeth in my womb. There was once an encounter with a snake. I rest assure that you have never seen a 7 month-pregnant woman sweep up 18 month old twins and sprint for the door like I did. I giggle at the mental picture I have of that day. It was defining for me: the possible threat that snake posed to those children were enough to overcome my natural tendency to faint, and empower me to be willing to choke that thing if I needed to. Thank God I didn’t need to.
Even though I felt a hint of MHS while nannying, it was nothing like I expected when I first held Elizabeth. I can’t explain it to you. Have you ever been angry at a well meaning person who didn’t burp your baby? I have. (Full confession: I actually envision myself body-slamming them through a wall).
I know. It’s bizarre and a little over the top. Body-slamming a person for loving on your baby and not burping them? It didn’t matter the ‘what’ behind their ‘well-meaningness’, it was knowing that my little girl not burping was going to cause her stomach to ache hours later. I didn’t want my baby to hurt no matter what the intentions were. Ok, and I was a little hormonal. :)
My mother-hen syndrome has leveled out some now. I don’t feel the weight on my chest of protecting my little ones for not getting burped properly. I feel it more when I hear a startling noise while I’m at home caring for them. I’ve never been the type to rush to investigate a strange noise. But since becoming a mother, I almost hate it for the person who would present danger for my little ones. I know the outcome probably wouldn’t go as well as I imagine if someone were to come in. I mean, maybe I couldn’t really rip out their heart with my bare hands--but honey--you can believe one thing: I’d die trying, for the sake of protecting my little babes.