Dear New Mom
As I sit here typing, I feel like the epitome of "Mom Life". I was just spit up on and had a diaper leak on me while I nursed my tired, screaming four month old. Motherhood isn't pretty. Sometimes, motherhood downright sucks.
I remember the moment I realized that being a mom wasn't at all what I thought it would be. I was sitting in bed-five days postpartum. My newborn was screaming, I was alone, and I had absolutely NO idea what she wanted. I had always been told that I would know what was wrong. Like it was some sort of biological programming in my body and that I could read my baby's mind or something.
It took me over an hour to make her stop screaming that day, and while she cried, I cried. I couldn't help it. Between the hormones and being so incredibly overwhelmed and helpless, I just cried. While Adelaide brought me the most joy I've ever experienced, I was tired and coping with feeling like a failure. I couldn't keep my marriage together- I couldn't give my daughter a two parent home. I couldn't make her stop crying. I couldn't even take care of myself.
Let me tell you something I wish that I had told myself: You can do this. Your little human is brand new, but you are too. You will never be the same. You are a warrior now. Your body made a person! You. Are. Spectacular. God Himself saw you and said, "That one is going to be a mom." You won't be perfect, but you will be exactly what your little one needs when they need it. Your baby doesn't need for you to be perfect. They need you to be you. You are valued. When you're baby gives you that first intentional smile in a couple of months, it will make every overwhelmed moment worth it.
Remember what all your body has just been through. If you delivered vaginally, remember that you pushed a watermelon through a Cheerio. If you were a c-section mama, you literally had your abdomen sliced in half. Your body has been through the ringer and back. Rest. Somewhere after the first week, you will feel like you want to get out and clean and be normal. Wait and rest. Enjoy the two weeks that your baby will sleep constantly, and just rest.
These early days are precious, but don't feel bad if you can't enjoy them in the moment. We're all just trying to survive this messed up, beautiful, glorious, world-shifting thing called Motherhood. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You are not a failure because you need a nap. Don't ever fall prey to comparison. You are uniquely you, as is that tiny creature in your arms, and your experiences together will be entirely your own. I know you are stressed, and that you've hit your breaking point more than once. There's no judgement here, and I wish so much that I could reach through this screen and hug you and give you the coffee that you so desperately need.
Take the time to just become a mother and to let your baby realize they are out of the womb, and for Heaven's sake, give yourself a little grace. Your baby is fed-whether by formula or breast, they are fed. Your baby is here-whether by surgery or not, they are safe. Your baby is loved-whether by divorced or married parents, they are loved.
I promise, it really does get easier. You can do this.