an open letter to new moms.
I find myself having a lot of the same conversations with them all. I remember those first days as a new mom. SO scary and overwhelming and exhausting. And I remember thinking that no one ever gave me a real picture of what those first days and weeks would look like.
Doug and I were the first among many of our friends to have a baby and the ones that had kids generally gave me the "just look at the tiny face and the world will be ok" kind of speech. Nice to say, difficult to apply to an exhausted, overwhelmed mom.
But nothing real or tangible that would help me rationalize or not to feel alone with the slew of new emotions and thoughts and feelings that go into being a mom for the very first time. Why does no one ever want to talk about the hard stuff that we all face?
So here is an open, honest letter to all new moms out there addressing some of the things that no one ever tells you. From a mom who had a pretty run of the mill birth and normal little babies.
Dear new mom,
The first thing you should know is that you are normal. Everything you are feeling is normal. Millions of women have been in your shoes and for some reason just don't ever talk about it.
It is OK to feel happy, elated, sad, weepy, angry, frustrated, exhausted, energetic and all that in a span of 10 minutes.
It is OK to question your choice to have a baby in the first place. Every mom has those moments. The whole "what have I gotten myself into"? feeling is normal. It's a HUGE change. YOU CAN DO THIS.
It is OK to have moments where you don't like that baby. It's true, hard to write and read but so very true. You are learning to take care of, and anticipate all the needs, wants and desires of a whole other person. On top of your own. It's only natural that you have moments of annoyance or anger towards the person who is demanding so much of you. That does not mean you love them less, it just means you are a human learning to do a HUGE task. It is OK to put that baby in the crib, crying or not and walk away until that anger passes. It will get better. It is OK TO TALK ABOUT THIS TO SOMEONE!!!!!
A crying baby will be fine. No baby is allergic to crying.
Please say OUTLOUD the ways that your husband can help you. Do not assume that he will magically read your mind. I bet he really WANTS to help you but he feels as lost as you. A simple kind suggestion to what you need or want done can go a long way to making everyone a little bit happier. Talk about how hard it is to be a parent!
You will feel like a crazy person. You have insane amounts of hormones literally raging through your body. You will literally, simultaneously say something that sounds like a deranged woman is talking WHILE hearing your inner voice yell "WHAT ARE YOU SAYING YOU CRAZY WOMAN?". Take a deep breath, say "I'm sorry" and move on. Don't beat yourself up over it. It will get better.
You will leak milk at the least appropriate times. You will probably expose yourself to a stranger at least once. Don't worry, you WILL get the hang of it. When it's all said and done you may end up with less cleavage than you started with. Sorry, it can be true.
If you are going to breastfeed please try for at least a month. I hear SO many people say "I tried for two weeks and quit"...it gets SO MUCH EASIER after two weeks. It really, really does. Your body needs at least that long to adjust to this strange new thing that you are doing.
Your hair will fall out. Not all of it but a lot of it. All the hair that you didn't shed while pregnant. Pony tails help.
Your bladder will never be the same. Go when you need to, don't wait.
Mylicon is a lifesaver. There are a million uses for plain cloth diapers that don't involve using them as diapers. When trying to decide what you NEED for a baby think about life on the prairie and how little they needed and had then. A bed, some clothes, some bottles/boobs and diapers are all a baby needs. Don't give into pressure to buy it all.
Attending to things other than baby does not equal neglect (like taking a shower or eating or washing a dish). It is also OK to skip all those for a nap. Take a nap when you can. Sleep changes everything. EVERYTHING. If you nurse in bed, do it knowing that you will probably fall asleep...adjust baby accordingly.
Your baby will probably fall off the bed. At least once. You may also drive without having them buckled in the bucket carseat (unintentionally), baby talk to your husband and your once amazing memory will start its exit routine.
You will regularly have in depth conversations about poop. When, where, how much, texture, color...all of it. And it won't feel weird until you do it in front of non-kid having people.
You will be pooped on, puked on, spit-up on and drooled on. Oxiclean will take care of most of it.
Don't ever thank God that the baby is finally asleep.
Somehow that is code for "please make him cry right now!".
Middle of the night bargaining never works.
Never say anything that starts with "My kid will never...".
Most of all, I want you to know that you can do this. God chose YOU to be the mother of HIS sweet precious baby. You were handpicked by the creator of the universe to have your own little disciple to minister to. Admit when you have made a mistake, ask for forgiveness from God and that baby and keep trucking on. You are stronger than you know and before you know it these days will be in the distant past.
Find someone to talk to, email me if you have to.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Love, Been there and done that.
What do you think moms? Did I leave anything out that you wish you knew when you were first a mom?