Happy Thursday. This has been on my heart so I wanted to get it out.

Dear New Mom,

First of all, congratulations! Secondly, how are you? Welcome to what I would describe as the hardest month/six weeks of your life. I am 7 months and 3 weeks into this parenting thing and, admittedly, we both have a long way to go… but there’s a massive difference between where you’re at and where I’m at, so I wanted to give you some encouragement.

Let’s get this out of the way: there is nothing wrong with you.

If you want to do laundry and organize the pantry while baby sleeps, do it. If you want to hold your baby while she sleeps, do it. If you want to take a nap while he’s snoozing, do it. There isn’t a wrong way and you shouldn’t feel guilty. Listen to your body and your brain.

But also… tell your brain to can it. You’re going to feel guilt. Guilt over a dirty house. Guilt over “spoiling” your baby (<< impossible.) Guilt over wanting to hand baby off to a visitor while you do dishes/nap/shower(/cry).

Stop that. Guilt only sucks whatever energy and stamina you have left. There is no wrong way to survive the first month as long as you’re taking care of your brain and body.

But let’s talk about your body. Girlfriend… it’s straight up broken– whether you pushed baby out or underwent a cesarean. (And if you adopted you’re STILL not running at 100% because babies suck the life out of you no matter what.) I know it takes all your energy to stand or roll out of bed for the 100th time to feed a crying baby. I know you pee when you sneeze… or cough… or move. I know there are stretch marks and swelling and ouchies everywhere. I know your boobs hurt.
Not to mention your brain and your hormones and your insides…

The six week gap between birth and your first appointment is B U L L S H I T . If you need to see the doctor sooner, do it. (I went twice- once for PPD and once for an infection.) Give your body what it needs- antidepressants, sleep, Tylenol, etc. Even if you’re breastfeeding, the doctors can work with you and figure out how to help. Talk to them.

And now for the most important part: accept the help (& do so without feeling guilty!).

If you have a spouse, let them raise that baby, too. They’re not helping you or watching the kid, they’re raising their child. If you have family nearby that you trust and love, accept their help. Let them spend the night or drive you to your doctor appointment or pick up the groceries for you. If you have a trusted neighbor let them come over and rock the baby to sleep while you shower. Say YES when you need the help or want the break. I was bad about this & I regret it.

I know you’ve heard this before & I hope it’s not coming across as unsolicited advice.

Please know that sometimes these are not the golden days… Sometimes these are the make-it-or-break-it days. You’re tired and sore; it’s tough to truly enjoy anything in those moments. But the days will get better and better. Motherhood will start to feel more natural over time. Your baby will recognize you and smile at you. You will figure out how to squeeze in sleep and brushing your teeth and maybe even a shower.

It doesn’t get easier necessarily, but you get much much better at it. And you’ll realize that all things end- good or bad. The crying, the sleepless nights, the snuggles, the helplessness… it will all end eventually and you’ll come out on the other side.

For the new moms in my life, if you want to reach out I am available. You can vent, ask me to mask-up and hold your baby, or run to the grocery store with a long list.

You will get through this. Your baby will thrive. You are doing a fantastic job. ❤️

12 thoughts on “Baby Talk: Dear New Mom

  1. Oh my gosh, I am one year into this journey and this post made me cry! I was just thinking how much I long to go back to the newborn days so I could appreciate them more. I wish I had been brave enough to go to the doctor for depression. I have been wanting to write something similar but you wrote it perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carolann ❤ Going to the dr. for my ppd felt like I was failing in some way. My mom went with me and was so calm and encouraging. (K was out of town.) I don't think I'd have gone without her encouragement.
      After I had M someone told me that you don't forget- you just forgive. You forgive the pain and the frustration and the sleepless nights… and that's how parents end up with more than one kid. Lol. The further I get from M's newborn days, the more I look back on them fondly and with grace. (But they were so TOUGH.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is so hard to appreciate the newborn days when you are tired, and worn down, hurting, and full of anxiety!! I agree that waiting 6 weeks to go to the doctor is total crap. It is amazing how something as simple as a shower can make you feel like a new person in that stage of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is. I miss how snuggly M used to be but I’m also amazed at her growth and partial independence now. That 6 weeks… sheesh. There should be at least TWO appointments in that time.
      Showers are STILL heavenly. Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am two years and 2 weeks into this and it’s still. so. true.

    The golden days comment really stood out to me. People say it goes by fast (it does), but the days of no sleep aren’t golden.

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    1. Not golden at all. Ha. I feel like the more I’m honest about it the more I see moms let their guards down and admit that sh*t is just HARD sometimes. And it is- but fortunately those little squishy humans are worth it 😉

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  4. This is perfect, and everything you said is so true. I was sooo apprehensive about accepting help, but I learned that I needed it to survive AND people really, genuinely wanted to help… it wasn’t just a favor.
    It never occurred to me about the 6 week gap between birth and the first postpartum visit, but you are absolutely right – it’s way too long! I was back within a week because of PPD, and have no shame in going back so soon!

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    1. Man… now I feel like I might ask for help TOO often. Haha. But I think the grandmas enjoy it. M is mobile but she’s not a terrible toddler yet so she’s not TOO exhausting. Ha.
      Way too long… Moms need at least two check ups in that time. I think it breeds a feeling of failure in moms who have to make an appointment. There should be a check up at 2 weeks- the point when the baby blues are gone and if you’re still feeling it, it’s ppd.

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