Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Where Did I Leave That Baby?

A few years ago I had a baby.

Before I had the baby, I did really well. I quit smoking, lost some weight and exercised a lot. I got a Vegetarian Pregnancy book and started eating all the right foods so my body chemistry would be perfect for building a person inside it.

Around the time that I had the baby my life was really hectic. I was working full-time, going to grad school, teaching and serving on the board of directors for the Housing Fellowship. I don’t know why I didn’t give up some of those things before I had the baby, but I’m not very good at time management.

The baby had to stay at the hospital a little longer than I did, so I used the extra time to get some work done. When the baby was ready to come home, the hospital called and left a message. I was so scatter-brained and disorganized that I kept forgetting to go pick up the baby. The nurses kept leaving message after message, and each time, I would smack myself in the head for my forgetfulness. After about three months of messages, I finally made it up to the hospital to pick up my baby.

It was really embarrassing when I walked in to get the baby. The nurses in the OB unit all looked at me with awful look of shame. I knew they didn’t want to give me the baby because they thought I was a horrible mother. I felt really ashamed too.

I worried that if I didn't forgot my baby at the hospital, I would forget to feed it or accidentally leave it in the cart at the grocery store. Even back in college when my 14 year-old sister came to stay with me for a week, she called our mother to say that she was hungry. A poor little baby wouldn’t be able to use a phone to call someone to tell on me. That’s about the time I realized that no matter how much I love kids, and no matter how many people tell me I’d be a great mother, I might have to reassess my limits. It’s a good thing that baby I forgot at the hospital was just a bad dream.

(To my credit, I have managed to raise an eight-year old lab-hound mix without losing him once. And, he seems quite fat and happy.)


At 2:34 PM, Blogger Lu said...

My mom used to say, "There's nothing wrong with being an aunt." Too bad I thought she was talking to my sister.

Seriously, I'm selfishly kinda glad you decided not to do the mommy-thing. It freed you up to help me raise my kids! We love you, Auntie T!



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