Navigating the rocky waters of new motherhood was enlightening for me. I learned a lot about myself, my baby, my partner, the world, and other mothers.
I learned how to swaddle and how not to get poop on myself when changing a blowout diaper. I learned more about my mother, and understood where she may have faced challenges and frustrations when she first had me. I learned to let my husband figure things out for himself, and I learned how to accept help from anyone who would offer it.
I also learned that life as a new mom could feel really lonely.
I felt isolated in those cold, New England winter months when I had my first baby. I was so intimidated at the thought of leaving the house with my little girl all by myself—so I didn't for a while.
I felt so much pressure to do everything perfectly. I kept feeling like I was going to mess up—like I was going to pack my diaper bag "wrong" and forget something crucial or I was going to forget how to unfold my stroller on the sidewalk and people would laugh at me. I didn't want people to think that I didn't know what I was doing. Honestly, it just seemed safer in our bubble at home.
I knew we couldn't hibernate forever.
I needed to get out into the world. I needed the fresh air on my face in order to feel human again. I needed to show my baby what clouds looked like, what grass felt like, what basically any place other than our house looked like. And I really, really needed to make some mama friends.
When the warmer spring temps finally rolled around, that first year of motherhood, I rolled my UPPAbaby MINU stroller right along with it. And as the temperature rose, so did my confidence.
I'd meet a friend at the park and we would pop our babies in our strollers and chat while we pushed along. We'd stop if someone needed to feed their baby or whisper-talk while they slept.
We connected over all the confusing feelings that course through you as you figure out motherhood—feelings that are common, but also make you feel like you're a failure or a bit crazy, or worst of all, lonely. I felt like these people got it and being with them made me feel like I was doing something right.
Some days I just wanted to go on an adventure with my girl, so I'd pick a local town to take a drive to and explore. Once we got there, we'd get out and discover together. Maybe we'd check out the shops or grab a coffee.
Some days I'd be brave enough to sit somewhere for lunch, daring myself to nurse in public or pretend to be like someone who is cool enough to enjoy a quiet lunch by herself (because my newborn sleeping in her stroller wasn't the best conversationalist.)
I'd go for walks with my sister (who was a veteran mama at this point) to our favorite coffee shop to ask her for advice or her insight on the new mother roller coaster I was on. Some days, I just needed someone I trusted who would listen to me; and so, we'd set up our strollers and push and vent, push and vent. Those conversations were so good for my vulnerable heart. And the large hazelnut coffee we'd eventually get was good for my mom brain.
I'd have the courage to go to the grocery store or to run some errands with my wingman, my stroller. It was so easy to pop the car seat into the frame and get moving where I needed to go.
If my baby was sleeping, I could turn the small sound machine on and click her seat in to peruse the store, my sleeping baby dreaming away. I was able to feel accomplished running errands with my little one. It gave me hope that things would feel normal, soon. We were getting the hang of all of this—together.
My stroller was my ticket to freedom in those early months of motherhood. It gave me a sense of protection and with its help, I believed I could do it—I could get out of our house and find success, not feel like a total disaster.
Sometimes, you've gotta fake it 'til ya make it. New motherhood felt like that for me. And I'll be forever grateful for my little helper, my reliable UPPAbaby MINU stroller, for always being there with me—ready for anything.
For all these adventures and more, Motherly Editors love UPPAbaby—and be sure to check out their new lightweight, compact MINU stroller. Click here to learn more and find an UPPAbaby retailer near you.
This article was sponsored by UPPAbaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.