Fact: nine out of ten baby’s-first-birthday posts on social media make me roll my eyes so hard that I end up temporarily blind. You know what I’m talking about. All the cheesy stuff about how incredible the year has been, how thankful they are for every moment, how quickly it has all gone by, how they wish time could stand still.
Look, I get it. I adore my kids just as any mom does, and I am definitely guilty of amping up the cheese factor on Facebook at times. But my youngest recently turned one, and it took everything in my being to stop myself from just standing outside my house and screaming, “FUCK YES!!!” for hours on her birthday.
My confession is that… I hate the baby stage. It makes me cringe a little to write that, considering that I’ve given birth to two of them in my life. Sad trombone. I don’t hate my kids, and I don’t hate babies as a concept or anything. It’s just that I spent the entirety of both my kids’ first year of life counting down the minutes to them growing up. Never have I felt nostalgic for those “cuddly newborn days” – for nonstop crying, unpredictable sleep, skin rashes, blowout diapers, and cracked nipples? No thanks!! Never have I sighed contentedly and thought, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Oh no – I would have it MANY other ways. I would rather get my teeth drilled every day. I would rather take nothing but cold showers. I would rather have my 3-year-old be my hairdresser than have to spend another year caring for an infant.
I am the mom to whom nothing about caring for a newborn came naturally.
I am the mom who kept hoping time would speed up.
I am the mom who wanted to choke strangers who approached me to say, “Enjoy every minute!”
I am the mom who was ready to be done breastfeeding way before my babies were.
I am the mom who has left my house or escaped to the basement to get away from the crying.
I am the mom who has packed up all my kids’ baby clothes as soon as they’ve outgrown them and gotten them out of my house by any means necessary.
I am the mom who says, “Congratulations!” to pregnant women but who really thinks, “THANK GOD it’s not me!”
I am the mom who would have love to have three or four kids – if only I could cut out year one.
I am also the mom who has enjoyed every day with my kids more than the previous one. Ask me about my favorite age, and I’ll always tell you it’s the one my kids are in right now (ask me about this again when I have two teenagers). My excuse about loathing the first year is that I didn’t have kids because I love babies – I had kids because I love kids! This does make me feel a bit like an outsider among other moms of tiny ones, and I sometimes feel guilty for fist-bumping my husband each time our youngest conquers another milestone. When other moms lament, “She’s getting so big!” I might be nodding and pretending to agree. But in my mind, I’m doing a touchdown dance – “She’s getting SO BIG!!!”
Goodbye baby stage – don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out! I won’t miss you!