I’m in a baby group with a woman who doesn’t seem to be handling motherhood very well. Each week her baby has some other ailment and the mom arrives in tears. One week, the baby was screaming so loudly when they arrived that we all had no choice but to focus on her. The woman explained that she had a terrible diaper rash and it wasn’t getting better.
I asked if she minded if I took a look. When I removed the diaper, the baby’s bottom was red raw, and the diaper was sodden. I had a diaper rash cream in my bag, that I had used on my baby and it worked well. I asked her if I could change the baby’s diaper and try the cream. She said yes and practically collapsed in a chair, seemingly exhausted.
I wiped the baby’s bottom with a warm compress so as not to irritate it any more, lay her on her tummy while she air-dried, then applied the cream. I let that soak in while she continued with tummy time, and then put a fresh diaper on her. No more tears.
I called the woman the next day to check up on her and she burst into tears, saying I saved her baby’s life. I didn’t…. I just changed her diaper and put cream on. Now it’s awkward. What do I do?
New Mom Issues
I am not in a position to diagnose this woman, but from your description she sounds like she has the Baby Blues and not enough information at hand. Being a new mother doesn’t come with a booklet, which is why new moms desperately need baby groups, and other moms. Much of caring for a newborn is instinct, but there can be a lot of scary unknowns. Having a good, calm pediatrician is also very helpful.
I would continue going to this baby group, for your own benefit. If this woman also returns, you can be friendly, but keep whatever distance you feel comfortable with. If she leans on you for information and support, feel free to give it to her, but also suggest she speak with her pediatrician.
I would also pay attention to her mood. If she seems to be getting more depressed, or even staying blue, you may want to talk to someone close to her to suggest that she may need help herself. Baby Blues are common and often lift after a short while. But if it persists, it can manifest into Postpartum Depression, which is far more significant.
My girlfriend is cheating on me. I’m convinced! But when I ask her, she tells me I’m crazy. I’ve asked her friends and family, and they all respond with shock. But I think they are all lying to cover for her.
She gets dressed up really pretty every day and leaves for work. I work from home and stay in my pyjamas. When she gets home, she’s full of stories of people in her office. At night, she often goes out with girlfriends, or so she says.
How do I get her to admit the truth?
I think you need to get out of the house, and take your girlfriend out on a date. I’m hoping that your girlfriend, her friends and family are telling you the truth, and that you are just wallowing in your own unfounded suspicions.
On the flip side, if you are right, you will also have a better idea once you leave the house. My concern is that you sound paranoid because you stay home all the time, out of touch with what is going on beyond your walls.
I also think you need to talk to a professional.
FEEDBACK Regarding the little girl who fainted at the sight of her friend’s nosebleed (May 23):
Reader – “I was surprised at your response to the mother whose daughter was squeamish and refused to come out of her bedroom when she had a guest. You made no mention of how the mother allowed her daughter to get away with this behaviour. Nine is definitely old enough to realize that it is rude to stay in your bedroom and ignore your friend who is there for a sleepover. The focus should not be on the other family’s behaviour but on the daughter.”
Lisi – Interesting perspective, but not mine. I don’t think the little girl was being rude. I understood she was embarrassed, and suffering. I don’t think the mother was letting her daughter “get away” with anything. She was sensitive to her situation.