I know what you are thinking about reading the headline, that every Mom is a little obsessive about her baby. Being over-protective is natural in the first year of motherhood, as your baby is dependent on you for everything.
And I agree with you, every Mom is a little obsessed with her baby, it’s normal and completely okay.
Until you start to overdo it, to the point that you go to some unrealistic measures for your babies, even if you harm yourself in the process. This generally happens with the first time Moms, who are overwhelmed with this parenting stuff, keep wondering am I doing it right? Doing enough? What if I fail? These Mums are some of the most paranoid people in the world.
This extreme obsessiveness of Mommies is known as Precious First Born Syndrome.
What is Precious First Born Syndrome?
Ardo Medical, a leading Breast Pump manufacturer, very aptly described it on their blog as “an intensive state of parenting in which the afflicted adult becomes alarmingly obsessed with (among other things) the safety, nutrition and intellectual development of their offspring”.
So are you a parent with Precious First Born Syndrome? Or in simple words, are you extremely obsessed with your baby?
Here are a few signs that might help you know:
You take health and safety to an extreme level
You resterilize the already sterilized bottles, don’t trust anyone, even your mother to wash your baby’s clothes the correct way. Or you are like the mother who poured shampoo in her own eyes to check its “no tears” claims. (Yes, it’s true!)
You keep seeing potential hazards in everything
Everything in this world is a potential hazard for your baby.
For example, a simple pillow on the bed will suddenly make you wonder, what if my baby gets crushed by that fluffy pillow? I should sleep with a small pillow, but it still looks heavier. What do I do?
Another example; You see your baby playing with a toy, and you think I should wash it, as it was in the toy box. You think, though I washed all the toys yesterday, the germs could have crawled on them in the last 24 hours.
If you can relate to any of the above scenarios, you might be a parent with PFS.
You don’t trust anyone with your baby
Sometimes not even your husband or close family members. You keep coming up with the scenarios of your baby getting hurt. Keep wondering what if they didn’t pay as much attention? God forbid if they didn’t check the diaper soon enough, your baby would be in a wet diaper and be uncomfortable.
You would hurt yourself or put yourself in danger for your baby, even for small things
Granted, a mother is always ready to put herself in front of anything that is going to hurt her baby. But if you take that to an extreme like the Mom putting shampoo in her eyes, you are too obsessive Mommy.
I remember an incident where my baby was sleeping on my lap. His head was resting on my arm and I was wearing a bangle on that hand. Of course, I kept my baby’s head safe from it, and I moved it up to my arm a little, and it started digging on my skin. But I was afraid of waking up my precious baby and sat there hurting for a while. I had a nice big rash on my arm from that.
I guess I had a bit of precious firstborn obsession too.
Nothing is good enough for your baby
Whether it’s the quality of the blanket, the branded clothes which will be too small for your baby soon, or the shoes you bought (he isn’t even walking yet!), etc. You aren’t satisfied with anything in the world when it comes to your baby. You keep finding fault in everything.
There are many other signs of PFS like calling or visiting your pediatrician for small things like a little spitting-up incident or a mosquito bite. Also, not wanting anyone to hold your baby, going on cleaning spree too often than required, wanting to do everything yourself because you don’t trust anyone, etc.
can be obsession too.
Why does PFS Exist?
Why are we so obsessed with our babies than the older Generation of Mothers?
Have you ever heard your mother or any older woman who has given birth to our generation of people, saying “You modern girls behave as we never have raised or took care of a baby, we have done it and know a thing or two about it”?
Why were these mothers not as obsessed and stressed we are?
Beverly Turner, A British Television presenter, explained it really well “wherever we look, we fail by comparison.”
“Even your baby’s Personal Health Record book taunts with its percentile charts of length and weight. Have they eaten enough? How much is enough? How can we possibly tell?” says Turner.
We compare our parenting with others, the weight, height, first walk of our babies, everything is on the comparison scale. We want to be the best. We want to be perfect mothers. And that leads to anxiety and start mothers on this obsessive behavior.
How to Survive
- Ride it out. In most cases, this obsession reduces on in own as mothers get more confident. And when you have another baby, you feel better equipped to deal with everything. Hence less anxiety.
- If you realize your obsessive behavior or you know someone who is going through it, joining postnatal classes, where they can help you with your stress and you discuss your concerns can help.
Don’t miss out on enjoying these precious days of your baby’s life with your extreme obsessiveness Mommy.
Whatever you are doing for your baby, it’s enough.
Do you have your own stories of unrealistic obsession with your baby? Do share them with us in the comments section.
Note: This post is written as part of the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge for the letter O.
Jyoti Jha · April 18, 2020 at 3:48 pm
This is so insightful. I had an NICU baby and for some time had become an obsessive mom. Over the period have learnt to grow out of that. Your post is very positive and affirmative of balanced mommying 😊 Thankyou for sharing this.
Archana · April 18, 2020 at 5:59 pm
Well written Poorvi! I think this reaction in new Moms is justified as she is the one who has carried the baby for 9 months, gone through labour /or Csection ! Elder women may comment as you have mentioned and I guess its because the situation and surroundings were different in their times. That doesnt mean they should Mommy-shame the new Mom.. As you say, this phase passes as the baby and Mom settle down…
poorvi khare · April 20, 2020 at 3:52 pm
I agree no one should MOmmy shame anyone, they don’t have any right. The phase would pass.
Thank you for reading!
Navita Bhatia · April 18, 2020 at 9:43 pm
I had been an obsessive mom to both my kids. I remember I had stopped all my social interactions when my younger one was small as we had moved to the US recently. I used to think ” I am not doing enough”. Yes, one of the biggest reasons, as stated by you is looking at the comparison charts. A perfectly relatable post, Poorvi.
Arushi Seth · April 18, 2020 at 11:36 pm
I think somewhere we all start of being extra careful but I agree some times we take it to a different level which is more stressful and you tend to miss the special moments with your child. A very nice post for new moms i must say
CRD · April 19, 2020 at 1:37 am
Is this something that can happen to fathers too?….coz my wife has taught herself to back off, but I;m still obssessed…and kid is already 6 now
poorvi khare · April 19, 2020 at 1:43 am
Yes…this happens to fathers too…And it’s normal. 😊😊