A Mama Who Doesn’t Like Babies, Also Known As ME

I don’t like babies.

I may, in fact, start a whole SERIES on my lack of maternal-ness. I’ll begin it with my post on hating breastfeeding, and I’ll end with not planning my daughters wedding. (The latter post isn’t written yet. She’s ONE. But I’m not really into the color of napkins. I didn’t even know what color the new shingles on my roof were going to be until they nailed them in.)

Of course, I love MY babies. And I love my friends’ babies. But I love them from afar until they’re one. And then we’re all good.

In medical school, when you have time on wards (i.e., in the hospital), you can rock babies in the nursery. Whenever my husband paged me about having a tough night, I peeked into the large glass window on the seventh floor. And there he sat. In the wooden rocking chair with a baby in his arms and his eyes closed. And I knew he would be okay. (He’s now a PEDIATRICIAN. Not surprising.)

Me? I’d rather eat French fries in the cafeteria on a tough night. (Oh and I was on my way to becoming a pediatrician, too. But not a down-the-street one. A hospital doctor. A SUB-SPECIALIST. Fancy. And less baby holding.)

When I was pregnant with my first child, my friend gave birth six months prior to my due date. And we brought them dinner in that first awe-inspiring and soul-crushing month of becoming parents. (I’m a BIG FAN of bringing meals to parents with new babies. It’s the second best thing our friends did for us. Just below doing our dishes and taking out our trash.)

The happy new parents said: Do you want to hold him?

And I was like IS THIS A TEST?

Because I didn’t want to hold the baby. But I had to BECAUSE I WAS GROWING ONE.

And thirty seconds later the new mama said: WATCH HIS HEAD!

Test Failed.

I was better at putting IVs in preemies than holding an eight pound baby. And I only had six more months to love babies before I was handed my own. Floppy head and all.

Every baby we saw was a taunt at my lack of mama-ness. Because NO THANK YOU. I’M GOOD ABOUT FOUR FEET AWAY. I had already failed.

Of course, my son entered the world through one of the most difficult labors my midwife has seen in her thirty years of birthing. And I was supposed to think it was so worth it when handed this baby?

He was blue and I was shaking so hard.

As he pinked up in my arms under an oxygen mask, I continued to swim through relief and horror and relief again.

I took a breathe and told myself to love him.

And I did. Through nap-less days and diaper blow-outs. First smiles at 3 a.m.. Army crawls. Pennies swallowed. The giggles. The screeches. The quiet. The TOO QUIET.

And I still had trouble managing the bobble-head. But eventually I could breastfeed him in the sling WHILE WALKING HOME FROM THE STORE.

The years have flown by. He’s now three and a half. His sister is one. And I am a tiny bit relieved.

Because I’M NOT A BABY PERSON.

This orginally appears on An Attitude Adjustment: Spill-It series and the link leads to all the great post in Jana’s series!

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

6 thoughts on “A Mama Who Doesn’t Like Babies, Also Known As ME

  1. Oh, sister, I am not a baby person, either. Don’t like them at all. I like MY baby. And that’s it. I don’t want to hold them or entertain them. They are boring.

    About 18 months and then I’m o.k. with them. Actually about 3 years. When they start being able to hold their own in conversation.

  2. This makes me relieved because I don’t like babies but I want to have kids someday! I do want to adopt so I could get older kids, but I think maybe having the experience of raising a baby is an important one to have. (Yes, it’s kind of weird I think this since babies make me uncomfortable.) Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, you’re an awesome mom and it seems like you dealt just fine with the baby stage, so maybe I can be a little less worried about me not being a baby person either!

  3. I know I’m a day (ok – 2 years’ worth of days) late and a dollar short on this post, but I just found it from the link you had in a post the other day. And regardless of being 2 years behind, I had to comment:
    This may be the first time I have found someone else who was willing to admit they don’t like babies. Looking for someone who felt the same way that I do was what brought me into the world of blogs to begin with (about 1.5 years ago). I’ve since had my second baby and – while I still don’t “love” the baby phase, I at least am enjoying it more this time around than with my first. But, I still don’t really get the whole new-baby smell thing that someone women practically faint over, and have never wanted to hold other peoples’ babies like so many women do.
    I felt so alone in not loving the baby stage, so I appreciate reading this and seeing these comments. It makes me feel less alone, because saying you don’t “love” babies (and please understand, I do love MY babies) doesn’t exactly make you popular with other moms.
    I survived the “baby phase” with my first child, but I was counting the minutes. Fortunately, the 16-month+ stage has been wonderful so far, and is what I hoped having kids could mean. (I can’t wait for baby #2 to become a kid too!) I think I’m a good mom, and I love my kids (baby phase and all), but I am so not a “baby person”, and I thank you for sharing your similar sentiments so the rest of us can feel less alone.
    Anyway… thanks for posting this. 🙂
    (P.S. – I’d actually gone to a class you ran/moderated locally once hoping to find other moms who felt the same way. Wish I’d seen this before I went so I could’ve talked to you about it! :-p The other moms all seemed to be there for more “I can’t bear being separated from my baby…”/baby person discussions. Sigh…)

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