11 Struggles Of Being Awkward Around Babies
Babies are beautiful. Let me start off with that. I think all babies are wonderful gifts that people should be proud of, and show off to others at any point in their lives. I mean ... you made a human being. You deserve to brag. But I also would like to say that I am one of those people who will be awkward around your child when I first meet them. It's not your fault. It's also not your baby's fault. It's all on me, guys. Because babies tend not to talk, all of my tips and tricks acquired through years of conditioning go right out the window. I survived by talking. I made friends by talking. I made love because of my talking. Not being able to converse with your child in a typical back and forth manner I have been accustomed to makes me very awkward. So again, it is not you or your baby — it's me.
It didn't used to be this way. I used to be the go-to baby watcher. I loved babies. But something in me changed after I started becoming sexually active. I realized that babies were no longer something outside of my realm, but a realistic outcome of my actions. Someday in the future I could potentially make one of them, and choose to raise them. For some reason this has made me more cautious around babies in general. Look, I get it. It's totally irrational. It's not like if I hold a baby, I suddenly have to keep him or her. But try telling that to my mind. In my mind, you see them, you keep them for life — the magnitude of the misplaced responsibility is like WHOA. So if you are an awkward person around babies, you'll be able to relate to all of this.
1. Holding Them Is A Mystery
How to hold a baby should be a course taught to everyone after the age of 16. They are so squishy and wiggle uncontrollably. Your job is to hold them without dropping them — something I have yet to master without significant help, but have been working on it since 1998. What I've learned is that people will show you the way if you let them. So don't be afraid to ask for back up.
2. What Are They Saying?
Seriously. What on earth are babies saying?! I cannot tell the difference between their little noises no matter how hard I concentrate. I feel awkward trying to guess because it's not like they will tell me I'm on the right track. It's a guessing game with those little ones and I don't think I can play.
3. The Parents Sense How Bad I Am At Babies
I feel awkward around the parents of any baby near me. They can sense that I am not in my element and the pressure gets that much realer. Any move I make leads me to seek eye contact with the parental figures for affirmation. Usually, I regret everything I did immediately.
4. Please Don't Ask Me To Babysit
When the parents are around I feel like I can at least try. If you ask me to babysit, I will ruin your night, or at the very least your baby's sleep schedule. Trust me on this one. Just let me sit in my house alone, don't add another human being into the equation.
5. Will I Be A Good Parent?
Personally, one of my biggest struggles is coming face-to-face with the question of how will I be around my own kids. Will I be a good parent? It's hard not to think about it with a small child next to you. For those of us who aren't planning on having kids, though, this is (obviously) not a problem.
6. I Already Messed Up Childrearing
The moment you make a mistake, or a child starts crying you cannot help but know you made a huge childrearing mistake. Sure — people will try to tell you that you did nothing wrong, but you know the truth. You have messed up that poor sucker for life. At high school graduation he will forever remember the day you tried to feed him banana-flavored goop instead of his favorite pineapple goop.
7. Should I Feed Them?
Listen, I know I should. I'm just saying...should I be the one doing it? I can barely feed myself, should I really be the one giving a developing human sustenance? Also, what if they don't open their mouths? Do I keep poking at their face with a spoon? That seems mean! Why is this so hard?!
8. Talking Down To This Baby
I always feel like baby talk is not conducive to anything. I don't want humans talking that way to me. Yet, I always end up doing it at babies. Why? Why are we always doing that to babies?! Objectively, it is the most awkward.
9. I Don't Think This Baby Is Cute
I feel really awkward when I don't think a baby is cute. That is not to say I don't appreciate the baby — I just think that the moment I see inside of a baby's diaper, all cuteness disappears. Sorry, all those evolutionary traits designed to make babies endearing. It's not you, it's the poo.
10. THIS WILL BE A HUMAN BEING WITH POWER SOMEDAY
This is honestly the reason why I am SO awkward around babies. I keep thinking that the little human in front of me will be an adult someday. They will make their own children, they will vote and drive and run. Those thoughts tend to get in the way of bonding with them, but honestly, I cannot help myself.
I cannot handle anyone crying, let alone a baby. It hurts my brain. I want to do everything to make it stop. Take all my money. Take my car. Just please stop.
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