I can still remember bringing my first newborn baby home, even though it has been over a year now. And let me be clear—I don't remember it because it was blissful and euphoric. I actually remember it so vividly because it was close to the most anxiety-ridden, stressful, emotional day of my life.
The two previous days spent in the hospital were everything I hoped they'd be. Sure, I was getting virtually no sleep, and my body ached from all it had just been through, but I had an abundant amount of help at my fingertips. I didn't yet feel overwhelmed or inadequate and I was fully confident that I could handle this whole mama thing. Excitement was my overarching emotion.
And then we got home.
It didn't take long for the crying to start. And once it started, there was no end in sight. My sweet baby boy just kept crying, and crying, and then crying some more, and I longed to have a "call nurse" button to press for a little relief.
My amateur mama skills seemed futile as I rocked, shushed, snuggled and nursed my baby. None of it helped; my sweet son wanted nothing to do with this world and was begging to be put back in the warm and comfortable surroundings he had just emerged from.
And so those first couple of months were a fog of diaper changes, feedings, nap time, crying (so much crying for both of us) and an endless amount of pleading prayers.
I didn't love my new role of being a mom yet. Although I had been dreaming of this calling my whole life, I decided I clearly wasn't cut out for it and figured the rest of my days were surely going to be full of hardship.
My hope and excitement for the future were at an all-time low, which could partially be thanks to those pesky postpartum hormones. This period of life was hard. All-consuming and so hard.
So I'm here to tell you, brand new mama, if you don't love being a mom yet, that's okay. Because here's what's going to happen.
One day, after weeks and weeks of having a fussy baby, that little bundle of joy is going to crack their first smile, and your heart is going to absolutely burst with happiness as you quickly grab your phone to capture a picture.
And then your sweet little one is going to start cooing and oohing and aahing, and you will feel like they're telling you all about their day, which is going to simply melt your soul. It definitely melted mine.
And then feeding the baby is going to get easier, and their nighttime sleep stretches are going to get longer, and taking them out and about isn't going to feel so overwhelming.
And then, mama, one day you're going to look at yourself in the mirror when you get a spare second. You'll see spit-up on your shirt, dark circles below your eyes that not even the best concealer could cover, unwashed hair tucked under your favorite baseball cap, and you're going to say to yourself, "I love being a mom. This is me now."
And you might no longer grieve the old life you once had. You'll stop wishing you could go back to your carefree youthful days, and you'll instead start looking forward to all the many fun family memories that will soon be made.
One day, you're going to love being a mama. I did.
Hang on tight to any little joys you can find during this in-between time and give yourself grace. A lot of grace. You're doing the best you can, and that's all you need to do for now.