My Letter to a New Mom, or what I wish someone would have sent me.

2:03 PM

Dear You,

Congratulations, and welcome to the scariest, yet most fulfilling, time of your life.

Your baby is a gift, a real gift from God.  To remind you how wonderful you are and the faith that He has in you.  You have a chance, a chance to change the world, a chance to live pure love, a chance to let a little part of you live on. 

Your heart is no longer yours, it now belongs to a tiny person whose socks resemble tiny toothbrush covers.  This tiny person who needs you for every.little.thing., has no idea of their own power.  You will have some of the best days of your life with this little person, as well as moments where you have no idea how you will go on.  But you will. 

You're going to cry.  A lot.  You'll cry at commercials with babies, animals, and elderly people holding hands.  You'll cry looking at your child and wondering what on earth you did to deserve such love.  You'll cry when they cry, happy or sad.  You're going to cry because you have no idea what you are doing.  You're going to cry when baby is tired and when you're tired.  And boy, are you going to be tired. 

Yes, being tired is going to be part of your normal life.  Sleep is really challenging for a few months, sometimes longer, but it does get better.  Don't listen to what your friends say about their kids sleeping from day one, they're full of it.  Don't believe me?  Get on Facebook - it's full of parents who are tired and haven't slept in days.  Some are new parents, some are veterans, either way - parents don't sleep.

You're going to get stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  You don't need most of it and you won't use half of it.  Return anything you are hesitant about.  Don't keep gifts, especially stuffed animals, just because they are from someone that may mean a lot to you.  Don't be influenced to buy anything for your child because your friend has it and loves it.  Or because someone thinks it will be perfect in your child's room.  If you don't love it, chances are you will regret it later. 

You're going to get advice from people that you know and people that you don't, people who have kids and those who don't, because people are human and they are going to judge you.  They're going to judge everything little thing that you do.  Yes, their judgement hurts, but don't take it to heart.    Remember, they don't know anything about your current situation, they don't know your child like you do.  Don't offer them any information about anything, just smile and nod, and walk away.  Or hang up the phone.  Whatever you do don't listen to them because the haters will drive you mad.  You'll second guess what you are doing as a parent and that's the last thing that you need right now. 

Your relationships with others will change.  First things first, get some super glue, put it all over your hands, find your support system and hold on.  Ask for help when you need it, whether its a cup of coffee, someone to watch your baby while you nap, or someone to hold open the door for you at the store.  You can do this on your own, but you don't have too, you need people in your life.  Specifically, you need adult people in your life.  You and your husband will love and laugh like you never have before.  You will sit and talk about your child at the end of the day, but you also need to take time for the two of you. To honor your relationship and honor what started this tiny life.  You also need your friends.  The ones with kids to keep you grounded and make you feel normal and the ones without kids that you can live vicariously through.  You're going to argue with the people you love, mostly your parents and your husband, because you're tired and stressed out.  Don't worry, it's okay, this too is a stage, and it too will pass.

Leave your child with the people that you trust occasionally.  Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  It's good for you and it's good for baby.  You need adult time to talk about something other than diapers and bottles.  You need time to sit back and drink a glass of wine with the people who can make you spit that wine out from laughing so hard.  You need time for you.  Every day.  Some people may not understand this, these are the same people who also say that their kids have slept through the night since day one.

You're not perfect, you hear me? You are not perfect. You're going to fail almost every day.  Luckily, most of the time, no one will ever know that you did. You're going to second guess that what you are doing for your child is really the best thing for your child, but if you're making the decision, it has to be what is best. Stand up for who and what you believe in. You're going to be a momma bear whether you like it or not.  You're going to worry about things that are so silly, but they are so important to you in that moment and that's okay.

You're going to learn a lot about yourself in the next few months.  Embrace it. 

Yes, life as you know it will change around you.  Accept it.  Accept that your husband will call you Mommy.  This new life is yours.  You can and will rock this.  Breathe.  Keep your head high.  Laugh a lot.  Cherish your little one, because they really do grow up too fast.  And don't forget who you are.  Ever.

Love,
Me

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