Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

new mom milestones

Pin It

May 21st, 2014 · Print Print


Long before the days of crawling, walking, first words, or even first smiles…

I think the very first “New Mom Milestone” is the first time you feel like a complete failure.

That was me… yesterday.

The thing is, we have such an awesome baby.  He’s a darling, sweet, incredibly good natured baby — sure, he cries, but only when something is abjectly wrong (diaper blowout, hungry).  He calms down easily, he eats well, he sleeps decently well for a newborn… he’s a great baby.

In fact, he’s so great… that I got cocky.

Last week, when I had to go to the grocery store, my mother-in-law came over to our house and stayed with him for an hour, so I could go by myself.  That went great — he fussed a little bit but calmed down right away when she held him, and I came home to a happy baby with my full grocery list taken care of.

Then, later that week, I had to run an errand, so I took the baby to Bed Bath and Beyond, all by ourselves.  And again… he was great.  Slept so soundly that I threw in a quick trip to the bank before we headed home.  Total success.

So, yesterday, I figured I could do the same thing: spend an hour at the grocery store, and then be home well in advance of any potential tears.

Like I said… I got cocky.

Because no matter how sweet and good natured your baby, there is always the possibility of a meltdown.

And melt down he did… right smack at the halfway-done point in my grocery shopping. 

I tried all my tricks — I ditched my cart and started speed-walking down the aisles, because sometimes movement calms him down.  I sang to him (quietly).  I bounced; I kissed the top of his head.  I did the shhhhhh sound right in his ear.  I did literally all the things I know how to do to calm a baby down, three weeks into motherhood.

And they did not work one bit

So, at that point, I was maybe five minutes from finishing up my grocery run (sure, I only had about half the items on my list, but he was making it very clear that we were done, so I wasn’t about to push any further).

Unfortunately, being five minutes away from finishing up means five minutes with a screaming, inconsolable baby, in a public place, on, oh, say, maybe four hours of sleep.

Frazzled doesn’t quite describe my state at that point.  Panicked might be closer.

So I raced through the last leg of the grocery story (ice cream! gatorade! DONE!) and promptly got on line to pay, while the baby’s wailing rose to somewhere in the range of ear-piercing. 

How bad was it?  The couple in line behind me immediately volunteered to load my groceries onto the checkout counter, so that I could focus my entire attention on making the SHHHHH noise into his ear. 

So I am obviously not feeling good about myself, and I immediately slap my credit card into the hands of the cashier, who decides that this is the correct moment to tell me that the reason my baby is crying is that I have the wrong carrier for him.

Let’s be clear: I do not have the wrong carrier.  I may have a different carrier than your baby liked, but I have one that this baby liked for the first forty-five minutes of my grocery trip, and one that is approved by our pediatrician for his age and weight. 

(File that under Things I Wish I Ever Remembered To Say In The Moment.)

Instead, I sort of nodded meekly, acknowledging that yes, my carrier was probably the wrong one and this perfect stranger obviously knew more about my baby than I did.  I mean, if this total stranger were taking care of him, he obviously wouldn’t be crying in public. 

So I took my half-full cart of groceries and walked out to the parking lot, feeling a little dejected that my mothering skills had obviously seemed so inadequate that perfect strangers felt the need to advise me of how just how very inadequate they were…

And we got outside…

And he promptly stopped crying.  I got him into the carseat, and he slept all the way home.  I even managed to put away the groceries before I heard a peep out of our little guy again.

So the moral of the story?  Don’t tell new moms that they’re doing anything wrong, because it will crush their souls.

Also, my kiddo hates the grocery store.  Next week, we’ll try the farmer’s market.



Tags: baby

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Leslie // May 21, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I think there is something weird about grocery stores that brings out the worst in babies. Maybe its the noise and over-stimulation of “stuff” everywhere, but without fail I get maybe half an hour before we have a meltdown. It’s the only store that causes this problem. Don’t feel like a failure, it happens. I often go with my husband now, so one of us can make a graceful exit and wait in the car if Molly decides we’re done.

  • 2 Andrea // May 21, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Awe! People always feel the need to weigh in on the “right way” to raise children. Every person who has had a child thinks that their way is the best and only way. I always cringe when I hear people get started (it never fails) on how they raised their children different.
    Every mom is different, every child is different (as anyone who has raised two kids the same way with way different results!).
    Take it with a grain of salt and know that there are some of us out there that know that babies cry, sometimes for no reason at all! :)
    But maybe it is easy for me to say as I don’t have kids yet so I don’t know “the right way” :p

  • 3 Roslyn // May 22, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Maybe too many items and/or people all around him.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, too.  Also, maybe a bit too cold in that supermarket.  Well, he made it clear, anyway!  Farmer’s Market next time.

  • 4 April // May 22, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Totally overthinking this, the baby is MALE!  You expect him to like shopping? :)

  • 5 Stacy Dill // May 22, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Hahaha! Actually most of the people in the grocery store DO NOT MIND your screaming baby. We think he is precious and tiny and you are a new parent just like we once were. Furthermore, sometimes babies just like to be picked up for a minute, are sleepy but cannot sleep, want to eat or a pacifier. With second or third babies, trust me you have to bring the little ones everywhere with you and they adjust. Grocery stores are the best place for baby to learn adjustment. Perhaps plan a Saturday trip with Chad along or Mom. Hang in there!!!

  • 6 Patty // May 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Don’t you love it when random people offer you advice in the most inopportune times?!  Yeah, something about the heat, my son loves it too. So strange. But yeah we try not to be gone too long either, it’s like a ticking timebomb.  Keep up the good work, mama.

  • 7 Kay // May 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    What a bitch!  I would have punched her.  In theory.

  • 8 one month old | Sugarlaws // May 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    […] And so is everyone else — from your grandparents to our friends to the nurses in the hospital, you’ve charmed everyone you’ve met. (This grocery story clerk excepted.) […]

  • 9 one month previous | TiaMart Blog // May 27, 2014 at 2:50 am

    […] And so is everybody else — out of your grandparents to our buddies to the nurses within the hospital, you’ve charmed everybody you’ve met. (This grocery story clerk excepted.) […]

  • 10 one month previous | JanNews Blog // May 27, 2014 at 7:51 am

    […] And so is everybody else — out of your grandparents to our associates to the nurses within the hospital, you’ve charmed everybody you’ve met. (This grocery story clerk excepted.) […]

  • 11 how i broke our freezer | Sugarlaws // Jul 7, 2014 at 4:59 am

    […] how our first grocery store trip was fraught with peril?  Well, baby Bear is several weeks older at this point, and we’ve had a couple of […]

  • 12 how i broke our freezer | JanNews Blog // Jul 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    […] in mind how our first grocery retailer journey was fraught with peril?  Nicely, child Bear is a number of weeks older at this level, and we’ve had a few […]

Leave a Comment