Dear First Time Mom,
I know you are BEYOND exhausted and totally understand why sleep deprivation is an effective means of torture. Just hang with me and read this... I promise it will give you some mental energy.
I bet you didn't know that you could love someone so much, did you? Maybe you had that instant connection or maybe it took you longer. Either way, you're doing great and are an incredible Mom!
How is feeding going? Maybe nursing comes easily for you or maybe it's a struggle. Maybe you decided that formula is what's best for you because your milk didn't come in, the baby wouldn't latch, you just don't feel any desire to nurse, or whatever reason. Either way, you're doing great and are an incredible Mom!
Did you have a c-section? I had to with both pregnancies. Hayden's was after 12+ hours of labor (with pitocin and an epidural). Did you have a natural birth? Pain meds? A water birth? Either way, you're doing great and are an incredible Mom!
Are you already a pro at swaddling or does baby just not like it? Do you believe in co-sleeping? Sleeping with one hand on the baby's chest all night and your wrist (and hand) goes numb but you do it because that's the only way baby will sleep? Maybe your baby sleeps all night or maybe only in one hour increments. Either way, you're doing great and are an incredible Mom!
Do you have to go back to work? Do you WANT to go back to work? Do you feel guilt when you drop off your baby at daycare? Here's a tissue and my shoulder - I've been there! Do you feel guilt because you WANT and NEED to go back to work for your own mental health? Either way, you're doing great and are an incredible Mom!
Are you able to stay home? Is it everything you wanted? Is it a million times harder than you ever thought? Do you feel lonely and isolated? Are you having to stay home but want to work? Either way, you're doing great and are an incredible Mom!
I want you to know - this is just the beginning of an amazing journey. I've heard it said that the days are long, but the years are short. It's true! Everything about becoming a mom turns your world upside down. For some, being a mom comes completely naturally. For others, not so much. Either way, you're doing great and are an incredible Mom!
There are "mommy wars" about everything... or at least it seems that way. Not here. You do what's best for you and your family! Bottle or breast, co sleep or not, work or stay home, c-section or all natural... you know your baby best, you know your family best. You've got this and you're doing a wonderful job! Trust your gut. Don't beat yourself up. No Mom is perfect, but every Mom is the perfect Mommy for their child(ren). I wish I had believed this when I was a first time Mom! My son loves me and I love him. I hated going back to work. I nursed him until 15 months and didn't get one full night's sleep during that time. I felt I had to do everything. I felt guilty about working. I felt guilty every time he was sick. I felt guilty if I went to get a pedicure or for a walk by myself.
I'm doing things different this time around. I ask for help. I accept help. I work from home, but my kids still get sick - and that's okay. I nursed for five months and am dang proud of it. It's also awesome to see my husband (or mom, neighbor, friend) give the babies bottles and bond with them. I go shopping without kids. I run several times a week. I play with my kids. I know I'm showing them you have to work hard for a living. I use disposables. I tend to be overanxious about sickness and want to wrap my kids in a bubble with Germ X. You know what? It's okay that I'm that way. I embrace my crazy! More than that though, I pray over them every night. I trust God and I know He's using them to sharpen me and soften me.
You've got this! Here's some virtual coffee and cinnamon rolls. I'm here - I won't judge you. I will support you. That's what Moms do. I'm blessed enough to be surrounded by awesome Moms - we all do things differently and we all support each other. Trust me - you're doing wonderful!