This is for you, new mama. I see you. I know that you are tired and lonely and really just want to be clean with clothes that fit. These promises are for you.
You aren’t alone.
But I know it feels like it. Motherhood comes crashing in from all sides, and it can feel like no one truly understands what you are going through. Give yourself a gift by letting your people in to this new, messy motherhood stage. Say yes to your mom when she offers to stay with you for a day or two. Say yes when your friend suggests bringing over a meal. Point her to the vacuum and the sink full of dishes when she says she’d like to help. Don’t feel bad about this or worry you’re infringing. This is the time to say yes, even when it feels hard. Doing so will remind you that you have a crew backing you up.
You will figure out a schedule.
Motherhood has a tendency of ruining all illusions of control. You may not want to hear this, but don’t rush figuring out a schedule. Take some time. Notice what your child naturally does. Give yourself a whole lot of grace before trying to come up with a plan for you and your new babe. The schedule will come. I promise.
Your child will sleep through the night.
This statement can be hard to hear because sometimes you don’t want to be reminded that your kid will sleep through the night… by the time he’s is a teenager. Mainly because you are four months in, your eyelids feel droopy and you would give up coffee right now if it meant a good night’s rest.
My best advice is to try not to think about it. Trust that your child will figure out how to sleep and sleep well. Take heart in the fact that if your baby isn’t sleeping, you aren’t the only one up at 2 a.m. to rock her to sleep. One day, it won’t be you.
You will feel like you again.
Start small. Grab Starbucks at the end of your errands, paint your nails during naptime or sit in your bubble bath with a good book. These choices, although small, will feel huge in reminding you of who you are. (Also, in case you were worried, one day you will totally want to have sex again. I promise!)
You will get better at it.
Changing diapers without getting poop on your hand, knowing when to call the doctor, noticing your baby’s hunger cues, recognizing your window for a trip the grocery store–these are all things you will get better at. You will learn how to be your baby’s mother as you two get to know one another. Pay attention to what works and don’t be afraid to try something new. I know it can feel like a risk, but that’s how you will learn. I promise. You will get better at it.
It’s a stage/phase.
As a new mom, you hear so many stories of babies who are born with such-and-such personality or with this-or-that tendency. Try not to be overly concerned with the current stage and fearful that it will be the last. It’s simply rarely the case. Babies are just like you and me. We all have phases of life where we tend to act certain ways, do specific activities and engage in relationships differently. Yes, babies have certain characteristics and traits that will make them more likely to be a particular way, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn just like we do. Take a deep breath. Keep your focus on today. This is just a stage.
You are doing enough.
With each new month of your baby’s life, there’s one more development stage, weird rash or question about parenting that you won’t fully see coming. Trust me when I say that you are doing enough. Part of motherhood is realizing that you are enough for your child. That doesn’t mean you won’t wait too long one time (or more) to take your kiddo to Urgent Care, thinking that it was teething when it was an ear infection. You aren’t a bad mom. You won’t have all the answers, but having some really is enough as you learn and grow as a mama.
It keeps getting better.
Every time your baby outgrows his clothes or becomes more independent, a little part of you cries because you understand the inevitable changes that are coming. But there are so many joys that coming alongside those changes. Try to trust me here. Each age has so many treasures that you’ll discover as you meet different parts of your little one who can slowly tell you more about herself and how she views the world. We can all agree that each new stage has its challenges, but don’t miss that watching your baby get bigger is also really fun! The first time your son or daughter reaches out to you by choice or says “I love you,” you are going to be so grateful for all the growth leading up until that point. The changes are worth it.
Mama, if I was there, I’d pass you a tissue, reheat your coffee and tell you how much you are rocking out motherhood. Even on the days it doesn’t feel like it, you are. Keep showing up. I promise you’ve got this.