To the New Moms,
I know you're tired. Really, I do. I know you're so tired that you aren't quite sure the last time you brushed your teeth and you barely know up from down right now. It's hard. It's SO hard to be that tired. I remember the first several weeks of my daughter's life as one big blur. It felt like an eternity at the time and in hindsight - it was just a blip.
But during that blip I was obsessed - OBSESSED - With sleep. How to get sleep. How to get my daughter to sleep. How I could be a magician and plan nursing and pumping and bottle feeding and making the stars align so I could get a just a few hours of consecutive sleep.
It was slumber madness, ya'll.
Because lo, I am a people pleaser and a high achiever. So when people asked me if my daughter was sleeping - I wanted SO badly to be able to say yes. Because good mothers are mothers who get their babies to sleep, right?
Good mothers are mothers who love their babies. Good mothers are mothers who realize that babies are actually tiny humans and will sleep through the night when they are good & ready. Good mothers do not measure their worth in REM cycles.
Here's what I wish I had done as a new mom. I wish that I had ignored the anecdotes. OH THE ANECDOTES. Every third person and your and great aunt Myrtle will tell you how they got their 3 week old to sleep through the night by swaddling/burping/bath/lotion/some other antiquated technique that you would never ever try.
Exactly zero anecdotes are helpful. Their baby is not your baby. Your baby is a person all his or her own with unique needs. And that's okay.
(This is not to say that you shouldn't seek out the actual helpful advice of people you know and trust. Advice is helpful. Anecdotes make you compare yourself and comparison is indeed the thief of joy.)
So the next time someone says to you "My baby slept through the night at 3 weeks!" I want you to smile, nod, and keep on keepin' on.
And, by the way, I know you're going to keep googling ways to get sleep.
But just give yourself, and those gorgeous bags under your eyes, some grace right now. Because you're a good mom - and you'll sleep again. Promise.
With love and lots of z's,
A good mom who is now sleeping, kinda.
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