Before having children, I imagined my motherhood experience so very different than what it actually played out to be. One of these differences is how much I dislike others holding my babies.
I’ve never been one that has to be holding the baby in the room. I don’t dislike babies; I just don’t have the desire to hold one for too long. But when it comes to my own children, I will hold them day and night. I love every minute of holding them. So much so that I have a really hard time when other people are holding my baby. Call me crazy, but when my baby is being held by someone else for a long period of time, I start to feel really antsy and my arms feel especially empty. Oddly enough, I don’t have these feelings when my baby is lying in a swing or sleeping in her crib, just when being held by someone else.
In trying to decipher why I experience this need to quickly get my baby back, I’ve come up with a few possible reasons for why I may feel this way:
Inadequacy?Perhaps it’s because the person holding my baby is holding her the wrong way? I obviously have my specific ways of holding her, so if someone holds her in a completely “wrong” way, then maybe my baby won’t like it?
Projection?I don’t particularly enjoy holding other babies so how can others enjoy and appreciate mine? Maybe I’m projecting my own feelings onto others?
Duty?It’s my job to care for, nourish, protect, and love my baby. So when I’m not the one doing those things perhaps I feel guilty? Like I’m not fulfilling my purpose as a mother?
I mean, I carried my baby inside of me for nine months. It’s safe to say I got pretty attached. And I worked dang hard to get her here. Maybe I feel like she belongs with me and not anybody else?
I imagine it’s not just one, but the combination of all of these things, and probably more, that cause me to feel the way I do about my babies. It feels primal, it’s not just a want – but a need. I’m not a germophobe, and I truly enjoy visitors over to show off my baby, share my birth experience, etc. But my ideal world would consist of a 5-10 minute cutoff time for how long others can hold my baby.
As my babies grow up and out of the newborn phase, I try to gauge how they’re feeling about being held by someone else. I watch for cues that they may not want to go to them in the first place, and I look for signs of them wanting to come back to me.