Hey New Mom! Yes, you, right there. Congratulations on your new arrival! Birth is a beautiful thing. Actually, it probably wasn’t what you expected. It never goes as planned, it hurt more than you thought and it’s messier than you expected. It will make a good story later, but for now you need to recover which seems impossible with a newborn right? You’ll get through it I promise.
Your baby needs you. All the time. Right after you change him, feed him and snuggle him to sleep. You’re going to wash your face or the dishes or your counters and then it’ll start over again. In fact, sometimes you may not get to put him down at all. It’s overwhelming. It makes you feel anxious that nothing’s getting done. It makes you wonder where your day went. Suddenly it’s nighttime and you’re not showered and you haven’t eaten and people will call and ask how things are going and you don’t even know how to answer. But here’s the secret, Mom, it passes. The day is coming soon when he’ll sleep more. You’ll be able to put him down. You’ll get to those dishes. And laundry. I promise.
You’re doing everything right. That worry that makes you call the doctor at 3am. Normal. The 5 different types of wipes you’ve tried before finding the right one that doesn’t cause diaper rash. Normal. The shampoo switches, the pajama changes, the formula choices.... all normal. You’ll catch a groove soon. You need to figure it out and this is how. Trial and error. It’s not what you pictured. You pictured it to be easier. It will be soon. I promise.
Leaving her for the first time, no matter how short or long- it’s going to be hard. You’re going to wonder if she’s going to be alive when you get home the first time you leave for a short period of time. She will be. The next time you’re going to wonder if she’ll be fed. She will. And then you’ll wonder if she’s going to be happy. She’ll be that too. You’ve done your best to surround her with the nicest people to care for her. They’re going to love her too so she’ll be okay. You’ll be okay. I promise.
And now you’re wondering if you’re ever going to sleep again. You’re thinking that you may not survive this horrible feeling of being tired all the time. Of being in such a haze that you leave on the stove, the curling iron, the lights when you finally do fall asleep. You’re wondering if the baby will ever figure out days and nights and if you can ever return to work or the real world without being in a haze. You will. It gets easier. They all figure it out eventually. You’ll do anything for him and that includes not sleeping for this first stage. But he’ll get there. I promise.
New Mom, it’s hard. You’re amazed at the women who’ve gone before you, who’ve already done this and survived. They survived birth, the sleepless nights and now they may even have had more children. You’re thinking that you could never do it again. You think maybe you’ll never want to. And maybe you won’t. But MAYBE YOU WILL and when that time comes, you’ll readily go through everything again because it’s all worth it in the end. The first baby smile. The giggle. The first word, the first steps. Write it down, videotape it, photograph it. It goes so fast and while you’re there you think you’ll never forget these moments but you do because there are more. Endless firsts and memories. Each one eclipsing the next until you have a whole cache of beautiful moments filed away in your mind. Enjoy it. And when you can’t enjoy it, let it go. There’s no need to hold on to the moments that are hard. The moments that you want to forget because they test your strength, patience and will… those are the things that help you grow. Where you are paving the path for the woman you are becoming. Welcome New Mom to this wonderful club. You are going to be fine. I promise.
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