It's like the first time you have sex. You build this thing up in your mind for so long, hypothesising every possible outcome, wondering whether you're making the right decision. Will I regret it? Have I done the right thing? When does everyone else do it? How does everyone else do it? You think about it far too much and then, once the deed is done, you wonder, really? Was that it? What on earth was I so worried about? All that worry, all that anticipation. And for what?
Every week I seem to come across a new something in this journey of motherhood that throws me. Something I need to do to or for or with Fletch for the first time. I think about it, anticipate it, worry about it, think about it some more, consider it, ponder it, until I've annoyed myself and everyone around me with the endless cogitation.
Do you know the sorts of things I mean?
Here's an example. We umm'd and ahhh'd till the cows came home about giving Fletch some formula. I've been exclusively breastfeeding and was hoping to do so for a while yet, but the midwife at the baby clinic we go to has been a bit worried about his weight and suggested that we should give Fletch an extra feed in the evening. I'd run out of my stores of frozen breastmilk so a bottle of formula was the only option.
I felt like I was cheating.
Like I should be able to feed him everything he needs.
Like somehow Fletch would hold it against me.
Or that someone would hold it against me.
Or that a brothel-esque whirring red light would start flashing with a loud siren outside my door to announce to everyone in the world that I'd done it.
Giving this occasional bottle of formula was clearly the biggest deal in the world.
Well, sod that. Fletch didn't even bloody notice. He sucked down that bottle of formula like I would a glass of champagne. And afterwards? Surprise, surprise. No loud siren. No flashing light. No national announcement.
The reality of this whole motherhood game, is that no one but you actually gives a shit (in a good way). Of course people care and are willing to help and can offer an opinion. But at the end of the day, those worries about someone out there holding one of your decisions against you? It's bullshit. Because your opinion is the only one that matters. Your decisions are the only ones you have to live with.
I think that's why I feel the pressure. No one can put pressure on me like me. I'm amazing at it. Superb. A+ in that department. But I need to learn to back the fuck off.
Stop worrying. Stop worrying. Stop worrying.
He will be ok.
It's exhausting worrying all the time. I'm tired enough as it is.
And all that worry I expend on today, I'm seriously going to need for tomorrow.