I was scrolling through my social media feeds recently and realized how many of my friends are new moms or are about to be new moms… some are new for the first time and others are new for another time. Seeing all these squishy babies really brought up a lot of emotions; some nostalgic, some sad, and some were burdensome.
I felt myself wanting to reach through the screen and cheer them on. I felt like there was so much I wanted to tell them. Instead, all those thoughts and emotions swirled in my head for a few days and I have decided to write an open letter to all the new moms out there.
Dear New Mom,
I know you are having a hard time right now.
I know it feels like you are riding a roller coaster you never wanted to be on.
No one properly warns you about the sleep deprivation and the havoc those evil little hormones wreak on your body. No one tells you how long and lonely the nights will be. No one tells you how often you will feel like a failure. No one tells you how desperate, crazy and beautiful it is to have a newborn.
Maybe someone did warn you… but you probably assumed those struggles wouldn’t apply to you. And maybe most days they don’t. But when those hard days/nights do hit, it is so hard to admit the struggle. After all, this is what you always wanted, right? This is what you had been preparing for. This is a beautiful gift from God.
At least this was the case for me.
I remember feeling so overwhelmed, depressed, and alone. Basically, I felt like a failure. I remember wondering why I couldn’t seem to get the house, baby, and myself together all on the same day, let alone make a little dinner. I remember thinking of all the women who had gone before me. I remember thinking, surely it couldn’t have been this hard for them. So I kept it all to myself. I safely tucked it away where no one else could see it.
The truth is, motherhood is hard stuff and I really wish I was sitting across the table from you right now.
I would scoop your precious face in my hands and look you square in the bloodshot eyes just to tell you this;
You are not alone and you are normal.
I would also venture to say that you are doing a better job than you are giving yourself credit for.
If your baby is safe and warm, you are doing a good job.
If your baby is fed, you are doing a good job.
If you are changing diapers endlessly, you are doing a good job.
If you are crying, that’s ok. (Any honest mom will admit she cried too, maybe even a lot.)
If your baby is crying, that’s ok too. (Babies cry, it’s what they do. It does not mean you are failing. It’s how they communicate and they will be fine.)
So don’t be too hard on yourself, have a little grace.
This mothering thing is crazy hard, but it will get better. The sleep will return, and you will manage to shower and cook on the same day.
Since I know you are sleep deprived and have a low attention span, I am going to turn this letter into a series of letters. So for today I just want to encourage you to keep going, keep doing a good job, and remember God chose you for that baby and He chose that baby for you.
The World’s Okayest Mom