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To the New Mom Craving Normal

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The questions you’re asking as a new mom - I know them all. I tense up just thinking of them.

When will I be able to get real sleep?

How do I get back into my regular routine?

When will I have time for my husband again?

What do I have to do to lose the baby weight?

Everything seems so new that there are times when you just feel desperate and scared. Everything seems new and confusing. Anxiously, you reach out to friends, family, even Facebook for answers.

I'm in a lot of groups for moms on Facebook, and I see posts with those questions constantly. And I remember those days.

The days of burp cloths and nipple guards and mesh underwear. Nights when your tears rival your child’s as you beg them to fall back asleep so you can sleep too. A blur of feeding and burping and changing and rocking.

There’s so much good. You can see it. Snuggling, introducing your little one to the world, learning every bit about them that you can.

But then there’s the piles of laundry. The dirty dishes. Finding the time for food, both preparing it and eating it. The anxiety of getting it all done and not understanding how to fit the puzzle pieces together to make it happen.

There’s this pressure to have it all figured out, and still be the ever-doting, living-in-the-moment mom.

Oh, mama. You’re craving normal, as everything changes around you.

If only I could get my home back in order. If only my husband and I were close again. And if only I understood what was going on in my body.

My heart goes out to you. And I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is, that normal you’re looking for? It's out the window. For good.

But hang in there with me, and don’t be afraid! There’s so much good news.

First, you are not alone.

I know this time is leaving you reeling, and feeling like, who else in the world can know this madness? I promise you’re not the only one.

Every single mother who has ever mothered has gone through this time of life. If there’s no one else around who is telling you that, let me be the one. We’re starting from the same messy place in those first few weeks, no matter if it’s our first or fifth child. We’re all making it work the best we can.

Second, you deserve so much grace.

Your body just did something incredible, and went through a huge amount of change in a short amount of time. (Including the nine months prior.) You are adjusting to a completely new way of life, one where a little person (or people) depend on you for everything.

Not to mention, you are surviving on a couple hours of sleep at a time. That’s enough on its own to make anyone crazy.

Take yourself out of your shoes for a moment and take a look at the mom in the room with fresh eyes. Would you tell her to get her act together? To do better? To fold some dang laundry, for crying out loud?

I don’t think so. You’d tell her to take her time, take care of herself, breathe deep, and know it is all going to be okay. Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to another mom in your shoes.

Third, I can tell you this with absolute certainty - this season will pass.

I can’t tell you when or how. But one day your child will sleep through the night (and so will you). One day you’ll figure out when to wash dishes and still fit your feeding schedule. At some point, you will go on a date with your husband again.

And finally, yes, the normal you’re used to is gone, and it isn’t coming back.

And surprisingly, THAT’S OKAY. Because you and your family are building a new normal. It’s one that takes trial and error and lots of grace.

But it also comes with a precious little one that looks at you like you hang the moon in the sky. It comes with cheering that baby to victory as they smile for the first time, take their first bite of food, and go from rocking back and forth to actually crawling.

You won’t forget this time. But it will astonish you, how much you are capable of, and the new normal you create. Take your time. You don’t have to rush.

This post was previously published on whatyoumakeitblog.com.

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