Recently I was visiting with a friend whose baby just turned two months old. I could see that look in her eyes as she sat in my living room. I know that look well. I had that look. I still have that look some days. It is the what on earth did I just get myself into look. It is that I can't see the forest for all these trees look. It is the new mom look.
It prompted me to write this post and share what I wish I could have made myself hear in those early days.
Me and my little tea cup, five days into our adventure together
It is going to be okay. Not only is it going to be okay but you are doing a good job.
There are probably going to be tears. You will cry in frustration, fear and a million other emotions that you never knew you could feel. It is okay to cry. We teach our children that it is okay to express what they are feeling and it is okay for you to do it as a Mom. Let go and remember you do not have to be perfect at this. Although you may not feel like it, you are already amazing because you love your little one enough to keep trying and wanting to do better.
There may be times when you feel like you can't go on. When the tiredness goes beyond the physical and into the emotional and you wonder if you have anything left to give. You do and you will. The beginning of motherhood is an amazing and difficult time filled with so much love and excitement, combined with doubt and wonder of how things are ever going to feel normal again. Your life is not over, nor will it ever be the same. Everyday find a little something good that happened. Repeat this to yourself : every day is a new day, every day will be a little better. That love that you already feel is only going to get stronger and before long they will be able to show you how much they love you in return.
Ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness. You are not expected to know everything the day that they hand you your baby. Help may be asking someone to hold the little one while you take a shower. A shower can make you feel like a new woman. Help might be sharing what you are going through. Having someone relate to you will help you realize that you are not alone and remind you that you don't have to feel guilty for what you are feeling or struggling with. A cup of tea will always help as well -- even moreso if you have some chocolate with it.
Lastly, remember to be gentle with yourself. You will make it through the trees and see the forest in no time.
What do you wish you could say to a new mom out there or to yourself reflecting back on those early days?