Hey mama. Welcome to motherhood.
You’ve made it through 9 months of pregnancy, hours of labor or major surgery, and now you’re navigating through the wild of ride of caring for a newborn while recovering from one of the most traumatic events your body will ever go through.
But you’re here. You’re a mom. Congratulations!!
WELCOME TO THE PHASES OF MOTHERHOOD
At this point, you’re probably feeling pretty exhausted. Don’t feel bad about that. Going through pregnancy and delivery, recovering from childbirth, and taking care of a baby are all exhausting activities that are very hard on the body. The fact that you’re expected to do all of them simultaneously and/or in rapid succession with minimal help is honestly a little nuts.
You will recover, the pain will go away, and you will start sleeping again one day soon.
When your baby wakes up every 20 minutes, or your toddler insists on a battle every time it’s time to go potty, or your preschooler refuses to stay in bed at night, remember: it’s just a phase. In the moment it feels like whatever your struggling with is part of life and it’s never going to be different.
But it will.
Before you know it, you’ll look back and realize that they haven’t woken up at night, had an accident, or gotten out of bed in a long time.
You’ll be relieved, but a little sad that so much time has gone by and they’re growing up.
WELCOME TO THE EMOTIONS OF MOTHERHOOD
Being a new mom involves so many emotions. All of your emotions are valid and normal. It’s amazing to feel overwhelmed with love for your new little human.
But it’s also OK if you’re not quite there yet. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. You just met this little person. It’s OK to give yourself time to get to know him or her.
The fact that you feed, change, and otherwise take care of your baby means that you are a great mom and you love your baby even if the emotions aren’t there yet. They’ll come soon enough.
It’s also OK if you’re feeling super angry or sad. Those emotions are valid too, and you aren’t weird at all for feeling them.
If you feel like your emotions are really out of control, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Postpartum depression and anxiety are very real, and far more common than most people realize. These days, it’s really easy to hop a Zoom call with a therapist without even putting on pants. You don’t have to suffer in silence!
WELCOME TO SAYING YES TO HELP
When someone asks if there’s anything they can do to help, say YES. Ask them if they would mind taking the dog for a walk, put the garbage bins down to the street, or wash the dishes. Keep a list on the refrigerator of things that need to happen so that people can easily see what needs to be done.
People appreciate feeling useful, so it’s a win-win. You’ll get the help that you need, and your friends will feel good about being there to support you.
Self-care has become a topic that’s almost cliche to talk about, but that’s because it really is important.
After you’ve had a baby, you shouldn’t be in any rush to get back to “normal.” There’s no rush to get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans (or even your maternity jeans, PJs all the way!) and there’s no need to make any public appearances, or even get out of bed for the first couple of weeks.
WELCOME TO THE SISTERHOOD OF MOTHERHOOD
When the excitement of having a new baby starts to fade away and reality sets in and you’re not sure if you can do this mom thing, don’t forget to look around you.
Those of us that have been at this for awhile are here and can’t wait to support you on this journey.
We’ve been there.
We know how hard it is to hold a screaming baby for hours and we’re all to familiar with diaper blowouts, nap schedules, teething, potty training battles, toddler tantrums and so much more.
But we also know how incredible it is to hold a sleeping baby on your chest. We’ve experienced the joy of seeing our babies smile for the first time. We’ve watched with exhilaration as they took their first steps.
We know how amazing motherhood is, and we’re so excited that you’re here to join us.
You might have to do a little work to find us (reach out to local churches or MOMS Club International to find mom’s groups) but it’s absolutely worth the effort and you’ll be so glad you did.
You’ve got this!!
You might also like:
Melinda worked with children for years in a professional setting before becoming a full-time stay at home mom. She currently has three young children, and enjoys sharing tips and ideas about parenting and how to manage a home with excellence. She’s been featured on Heathline and Her View From Home.