For the last three years I have been raising babies and call me crazy, but I’m still learning. Each sweet baby is so different and has so much of their own personality. But, there was a time when I was pregnant for the first time with so many fears and uncertainties. So to that new mom, here is what I want to say:
Dear new mom,
Life is now so different. It feels unreal in fact. Your new baby is quite possibly the greatest love you will ever experience. And that feeling doesn’t go away. The level of exhaustion you will feel will make you wish your baby was older, sleeping through the night, despite EVERY SINGLE PERSON telling you to savor these moments because they go by so fast. Your entire journey of motherhood will feel this way. With every new phase and growth spurt, you will learn so many new things about your baby.
People will tell you that you come second to the baby. It’s not popular opinion but I will tell you the opposite. You will realize that self-care is so important and so worth it. In order for you to make time for this, you will have to get out of your comfort zone and ASK for help. Remember before your baby when you could just do whatever you wanted? NOPE. At least in the first phases until you can get a nap rhythm going.
You are beautiful. Embrace the messy bun. I gave up on drying my hair a long time ago. Pick your battles. I bet your husband thinks you are amazing, watching you as a new mom nurture and love your little baby. And he may have just witnessed you give birth. WOW mama, what a crazy beautiful thing you just did!
Don’t rush to get your body back. You just spent 9 months growing a baby and an entire new organ and then birthed both! Your body is amazing! Easier said than done, I realize. So instead of looking in the mirror and judging your body, thank it for all it has done. And then go shopping and buy some comfy bigger clothes.
Tell family and friends NO. This is also not popular opinion, but I firmly believe it is necessary. You need bonding time with your baby and your new family unit. It is not your job to entertain. Your job is to sleep when you can, feed the baby, and SURVIVE. There are still days of just pure survival for me with a three and one year old. There will be friends that don’t come right away to visit the baby, but don’t take it personal. Maybe they just know this already.
Take all the help that gets offered. Bring me a meal, sure! Do some laundry, sure! Drop the food at the door while I sleep, sure! The people that genuinely reach out to help love you and really do want to know what they can do to make life just a little easier for you. Don’t be shy.
EMOTIONS! This is a big one. Hormones are constantly changing throughout pregnancy and after birth. Crying is ok and normal. You will cry when you have anxiety about your baby or cry because you are so overwhelmed. Some of this is normal. If you think you need help because it is disrupting your daily life, ask your doctor or family for help. NO SHAME. In fact, it is so brave to ask for help.
And my last piece of advice is to not set any expectations. Don’t worry about the dishes, the baby book, or the cute clothes. Don’t know how to change a diaper? You will be changing 10 or more a day; you will catch on pretty quickly. Wondering what birth feels like? How will my husband be with a new baby? Pray about the things out of your control. Have faith that God is bigger than our own plan.
And above all else, embrace the hot mess. Welcome to motherhood! Find your tribe and love them because community in motherhood is so important!
A new mom x2 and wouldn’t change it!