My New Mom Ears

Watch them wiggle to and fro. Tomorrow I will officially have a 7 week old in my house as well as the perfectly tuned hearing of a mom. I have honed my hearing skills to mommy level. Even if my husband is playing war video games, the dishwasher is banging dishes around because I loaded it wrong and the tv is blaring in another room I can hear my dear little daughter go “ehhh”. It’s amazing that I can pick up on this… Or is it? Does this mean that I am never calm, always waiting for her next move? I’d like to think it’s a biological instinct that I’ve been given to help me parent, but I dread the day that I’m caught constantly staring at my baby video monitor or walking back and forth to see what her little sigh was all about. I worry that one day my ears will burn out and I will become oblivious to what is going on in the next room. My alertness will vanish and then things may go terribly wrong. Obsessive or loving? The mere fact that I’m somewhat embarrassed over this is disheartening.

Although I’m a new mom I’ve picked up rather quickly on other mom’s attitudes and behaviors. I’ve noticed that they don’t obsess nearly as much as I do. While jogging with another mom of a 3 month old, she let her baby cry the entire mile back to her house. Granted she has a very fussy baby, but what gives with the lack of nurturing? Does it wear off somewhere in between fascination at the miracle of birth and beyond? I’ve given myself some lead way here since it really has only been 7 weeks, but it does make me wonder about parenting transitions. As our babies age do we slowly stop paying as much attention? Does our infatuating love for them turn into more of a chore? Do we run empty on love? Perhaps a parents love slowly shifts into a different shape and form as time goes on. Or perhaps our love tanks, as Dr. Gary Chapman of “The Five Love Languages” would put it, perhaps our love tanks become empty and we as parents have nothing left to give.

Yes I can hear my daughter coo and cry across the house, but am I listening to myself? Am I listening to my husband as he tells me about his day? How can I continue to provide a loving home to her if I drown out the sounds of the rest of the world…Mom ears…a blessing or a curse?