A Note to the New Mom
I see you. Not the dark circles under your eyes. Not the “day three hair” pulled into something that once vaguely resembled a ponytail. Not the crusted baby puke flaking off your shirt. I see you.
You’re doing a really good job. I mean it.
Motherhood is a big, important, nuanced thing, and you’re doing it. Sure, “it” looks different for everyone. Maybe for you it means baby wearing and nursing on demand. Maybe it means alternating bottle-feedings with your partner. Maybe you’ve entered the world of stay-at-home parenting. Maybe you’re in the process of researching childcare as you gear up to head back to work. Or maybe your life requires you to Frankenstein a few of those scenarios together. Whatever your “it” is, it is being rocked by you, sister.
I know that’s hard to believe when you’re deep down in the trenches of new motherhood; the pressure down there is no joke. And to be honest with you, it’s probably not going to let up for a while. In addition to the demands that come with sustaining a new baby’s life, the people in your life will continue to want both a piece of you and to give you a piece of their minds. But here’s something important that I want you to remember: it’s your time down there*…
Your time to let yourself feel all the love, exhaustion, joy, uncertainty, gratefulness, and fear bouncing around in your head—all of those feelings are right and important.
Your time to get to know this little person you love to the point of chest pains but just met a few weeks or months ago.
Your time to process how he or she came into the world, whether it went according to plan or not.
Your time to spend a whole morning smelling that baby’s head and marveling over tiny fingernails.
Your time to suss out what self-care means for you in this new season of life.
Your time to reconcile the you you were before with the you you are now.
Your time to figure out what “it” needs to look like for you and your family.
So don’t be afraid to dig into it. Find your footing. Celebrate the victories, forgive the failures, and let yourself see that you are doing an amazing thing. You’ll be pulling yourself out of that trench before you know it.
*Yes, I am taking my inspiration from Mikey Walsh of The Goonies. He’s the heart and soul of one of the best movies ever; he’s never done me wrong.