It’s so crazy to think that I became a mom almost five and a half years ago. Does that make me a veteran? Seasoned? Knowledgable? It sure doesn’t feel like it. Five and a half years in and I still feel like I am winging it. Isn’t that life, though?
Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts and hardest responsibilities to undertake, but it is the best role I’ve ever played. I remember those new mom moments so well. They were hard, and I couldn’t figure out if I was doing anything right. Lots of sleepless nights, lots of new things to do, and a new life that I was responsible for taking care of. Was she getting enough to eat? Was she dirtying enough diapers? Why did her cry sound different this time? So many questions.
If I were to go back to those days as a new mom, I’d tell myself a few things. Things I should have heard.
Things I Would Tell My New Mom Self…
Stop Googling. You’re going to lose sleep and gain more anxiety over things you shouldn’t.
They’re not going to remember the first time you dropped them off at daycare, but that moment is important for you. The first day back at work after having my two girls was a really hard day for me. A lot of people say things like, “They won’t remember this day!” While it’s true, it doesn’t help you process those emotions and feelings.
Give yourself some grace. You’ll never be super mom, but imperfection is so much more real.
It’s okay to walk away for a few minutes. Sometimes we really do need a few minutes to collect ourselves, step away from screaming so we don’t lose our minds, or just a minute to pee in peace.
Don’t let the thoughts and opinions of other moms influence what you know is best for your child. Mom-shaming is real, especially through social media. You’re not a bad mom if you don’t make your own organic homemade baby food.
Your c-section was a real birth. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re less of a mom, or woman for that matter. You did an amazing job bringing your children into this world. Major abdominal surgery is no joke.
Your body is capable of amazing things. You grew a human inside you. That’s pretty incredible. Your body will look different than it did before pregnancy, but it is beautiful. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself to look a certain way in a certain timeframe. (Oh, and also? Breastfeeding won’t melt your baby weight off like it does to everyone else. Slow and steady wins the race, but that weight will come off if you stay healthy.)
Nothing is permanent. Was this week really hard? I guarantee you that it will change before you know it. Babies don’t keep. Months and years can also be painfully difficult, but you never know what lies ahead. Your children will love and respect you for the hard work that you do today to build a better life for them.
It’s okay to cry. Those postpartum hormones are in overdrive. It feels weird, and it feels like you shouldn’t be crying over simple things. However, your world has completely changed, and it’s okay to cry. You can laugh at the ridiculousness of it, too.
You’re doing a great job. You probably don’t hear this enough, but you are doing amazing – even if it feels like nothing got accomplished during the day. Your accomplishment is right in front of your eyes.
What would you tell your new mom self? Or maybe you have a new mom friend – what would you tell her?
Whether you’re a new mom or many years in, you are special and are loved. In those stressful days, whenever you find yourself in the trenches of motherhood – just remember that you hang the moon for those kids of yours. You are their world.