When I had Henry two and a half years ago, I had zero clue what I was doing. Zilch. When I went to register I almost had a panic attack. I had no idea you had to use special laundry detergent on baby clothes or that they were supposed to sleep in a bag that zips up the front. I didn’t know that some bottles had seven pieces and you could get a baby monitor with WiFi.
Needless to say, I was clueless about parenting. I was scared to hold babies because I didn’t want to drop them. So when everyone told me it would just come naturally I laughed in their faces. Literally. Will I naturally know what he wants each time he cries?? Will I be able to smell a pee diaper from a mile away? Hell no!! I felt like I didn’t have a mom bone in my body!!
But you know what, none of that mattered. Because Henry and I figured it out together. Henry was new at being a human and I was new at being a mom. We cried together a lot but that’s part of the learning curve. We survived. On very little sleep, a nervous breakdown, a lot of explosive poops, 8,756 loads of laundry, not enough showers and RSV.
And look at us now! We are still clueless! Henry is new to being a toddler and I’m new to having a toddler.
So don’t be so hard on yourself new mom. We’re all learning!! You can do so much more than you ever thought possible. You created a life in your body! You made a freaking human! That has to be the coolest thing in the entire universe. Then you either pushed that human out of your body or had it surgically removed from your uterus. And then you got pushed out of the hospital a couple days later with your little human.
And then reality sets in.
- Sleep deprivation will take on a new meaning. But you won’t die.
- You will get sad and angry and feel love and happiness all at the same time.
- You will change a diaper with one hand while folding laundry with the other. And you will be crying and/or cussing while you do it.
- You will take visitors into your home that bring you food and you will smile and hold the baby and act like you have your shit together.
- You will let the house go to hell because you have to sleep at some point.
- You will go days without taking a shower.
- You will probably wear the same ugly bra and over-sized sweatpants you wore when you were pregnant.
- You will look at your body in the mirror and not recognize yourself and cry again. You will say that you will start working out tomorrow.
- You will apologize to your husband for being a mess. I don’t know why, but you will.
- You won’t beg for help even though you need it. I also don’t know why, but you won’t. Take the help that people offer.
- You will wish someone had told you how hard and lonely being a new mom really is.
Six to eight weeks later, you will have to do something even harder. You will have to get up one morning, take a shower, put on a nice outfit, do your hair and makeup and prepare to go back to work. You will hand the newborn you have spent the last two months fawning over to a babysitter or daycare you may or may not know very well. You will probably cry. Then you will go back to the office. And you know what, you will rock your job. Because you are more than just a mom. You also have a career. And just because you created a human being and had to take time off to recuperate and care for your new baby, you are still smart. And witty. And funny. And good at your job. And able to have conversations with someone that can actually talk back. And then you will go pick your baby up and head home. And you will revert right back into mom mode.
You will feel like you are living in two different worlds. That there won’t be enough time to be the best mom, a good wife, and a successful career woman. But that will never change. It will be a constant struggle. But you will be all of those things. Because you are awesome.
Don’t underestimate the power of motherhood and being a woman. Moms get shit done. And so will you.
Until Next Time,
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