Dear New Mama,
Let me start by saying: you will sleep again. Maybe not tonight, maybe not next week. But I promise, you will sleep again.
This new mom gig isn't as easy as the books made it seem, is it? Or as natural as that childbirth class made it seem. Or as sweet as your friend made it seem on Facebook this morning. In fact, it is downright hard. Really hard. Really really hard.
Once you forgive your friends for lying to you and not telling you how hard it is, let me encourage you.....it does get easier. Way, way easier. And way more fun.
I have four kids, and to this day, I say with certainty that my first born's first year was the toughest year of parenting I have ever had. I had four kids in 6 years, so that's kinda saying a lot.
Back to you, new mama: God created you specifically to be the mom of your child. No matter what you've read/heard/thought you would do, the absolute best thing to do for that sweet baby of yours is exactly what YOU want to do with that sweet baby. With so many opinions from others, books from "experts", and the internet of endless knowledge, it is easy to second-guess yourself constantly.
Even if you are the only person on the planet (which you're probably not) doing something, if it is what your gut is telling you to do, do it. Because you know what is right for your baby.
With four babies comes a lot of perspective. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I have had a lot of victories along the way. (And, obviously, I still have a lot of child raising ahead of me....I only speak of babies, not children past 7).
If I could give a new mom some advice, here is what I would say ("he" refers to a he or she):
- Rock that baby a little longer. Nurse him to sleep, if you feel like it. He will eventually learn to sleep on his own.
- In a few short years, you will no longer be having conversations about birth stories, breastfeeding, and poop. Thank goodness because everyone else's birth story is worse than yours (or so they make it seem). (I have no idea why women do this).
- Your children that don't sleep through the night until they're 1 year old will sleep very well after that, so don't fret.
- Put socks on the baby anytime there will be old ladies around, unless you want them to comment on how cold their feet must be. Even if it's 100 degrees outside.
- Dads have a tougher time bonding with the baby. He may not seem as interested as you thought he would be, but once the baby can interact and play, he will be amazing.
- But Dad CAN do it. So let him. Go out. Get a pedicure. Or a Starbucks. Or a nap in your car. But get out.
- The people on the airplane? They'll live. Even if the baby cries for 3 hours straight. Their lives will go on.
- Take a shower, even if the baby screams the entire time. He will live. You need it. Put the baby safely in another room so you don't hear the crying. But please, take a long, hot shower.
- When all else fails, take the baby on a walk. Outside changes everything.
Most importantly, repeat to yourself these mantras any time you are feeling inadequate, exhausted, sure that everyone else is better at this than you:
1. I was created to be ________'s mom. I am the best mom for him/her.
2. It gets easier.
Sweet mama, you got this. YOU GOT THIS.
A mom that understands