being a mom

My Husband And I Are Competing For Our Baby’s Love, And I’m Winning

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Mom-baby-kiss“You like me?! You really like me?!”

When contemplating motherhood, I never thought that Sally Field’s desperate voice would echo through my head 40 times a day. I did not expect that having a beautiful infant baby would hold me emotionally hostage. I did not realize that my biggest challenge as a mom would mean working through the same insecurities I thought I’d ditched back as a teenager, when I was wearing Umbros and listening to DMB.

Listen, I think I’m a pretty good mom. Actually I know I am, and you are too. I know this because you are reading about mothering instead of showering or eating… or showering WHILE eating which is NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF, especially if what you are eating is Talenti Mediterranean Mint Gelato because that can get drippy and really you’re just multitasking.

I have made it through colic, eczema, elimination dieting, a 40-hour med-free labor, the sleepless nights, the poop, the barf, and the party that was a bladder prolapse. All this and I still have a smile on my face and count these as the best six months of my life. I’m in heaven. My daughter, Teddy, is spectacular and evokes a love I still don’t comprehend.

All of the above I was prepared-ish for. (Maybe minus my bladder waving hello to me from my vagina. But the rest, yes.) The thing I haven’t been prepared for has been how my tiny, pink, infant daughter has sent me into an insecure tailspin that runs so deep it harkens back those dark days of high school. The popularity contest in my head is in full swing y’all, and it ain’t pretty.

Teddy is obviously the most popular girl in our house. With her adorable chub rolls, her wispy strawberry blonde hair, and her ability to (cry) bitch out any one of us without so much as a flicker of guilt or remorse. The same funny duck noise that causes her to bestow upon me the smile of a thousand angels one day, elicits nothing more than a glazed stare the next. It’s maddening!

She’s my high school nemesis Veronica Connors* all over again. Oh Veronica, with her tan legs, Jeep Wrangler, and sociopathic lack of empathy. I wanted to be her so badly, but since I couldn’t actually BE her (not by a long shot), I just wanted to be liked by her. Things are brighter when you’re standing next to the sun.

Here I am, a 35-year-old, self-empowered, confident woman. But the moment I walk into the nursery at 5am, my heart thumps with a desperate hope I’m frankly embarrassed by. How is it that my confidence and self worth is at the mercy of this sixteen-pound cherub?

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