Dear new mama,

I understand that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach and the beads of sweat that form when your baby starts to cry—when all you want is to enjoy this short moment—but please don’t leave because your baby is screaming.

I know that you have already done everything you could do to help your little one calm down.

I know that it’s out of your control and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

I know that you think people are staring at you, and they are saying to themselves that you are a bad mother.

I know that you want to find the closest emergency exit and run out or somehow just magically disappear.

I know you are probably telling yourself that you should have never left the house, and this was a bad idea.

But I also know... long it took you to get ready to come here.

...that you fed and changed your baby before coming, so they would be content while you tried to shop. strenuous it is to take out and unfold that stroller, or how heavy it is to carry the car seat and to maneuver it in that bulky red cart. are not fully focusing on what you need to buy because you are trying so hard to make this motherhood thing look normal, and you want to look like you have it all together. are probably avoiding the swimsuit section because you feel like your post-baby body will not fit into anything. need some time away from the endless loads of laundry, full sink of bottles, and floors that still have crumbs from the breakfast you attempted to eat with no plate or napkin.

So please don’t leave.

I have been in your situation more times than I can count, and it is still not easy for me. There are other mothers here who know what you are going through and have also been in your shoes.

You may not see, but you have a whole support system in every aisle of this store, and we are rooting for you. We support you and we know you are doing your best at this motherhood thing.

I know you are tired and all you wanted was to go shopping alone, like you used to before having your baby.

I know that you love your baby more than anything, but adjusting to this new normal is hard.

Still, if you choose to leave, I will understand. As long as you come back. I know something as simple as a trip to Target can be a big deal so I want you to return knowing you are fully supported, and that you are amazing.