An Open Letter to That New Mom
My friend recently gave birth to her precious baby boy and it really got me thinking about what life is like for a new mom. It is such a difficult, scary, but beautiful time. And I just have so much I want to say to all new moms out there - even if it is a reminder when you have your second or third or even fifth baby.
Mama, you make the rules.
You don’t want someone kissing your baby? Tell them. You aren’t comfortable with visitors yet? Tell them. You want to bottle feed? Do it. You want to try out cloth diapers? Do it. You want to make all of your baby’s food from scratch? Go for it.
You are totally in charge of your baby. Make your own (educated) decisions and don’t be afraid to do what you think is best for you and your family.
Remember that there is no right way to parent.
Sometimes a mom wants to bottle feed instead of breastfeed. Sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work out. That’s okay. It’s okay for you to decide whether to co-sleep or put your baby in their crib. You can choose what is best for your baby.
Mama, it’s okay to feel defeated.
I know that feeling all too well. You are a new mom; juggling life and marriage and parenthood and friendships and it just feels like the entire world is on your shoulders. There is going to be a lot to do after baby is born. You’ll have to figure out what to do about cooking and cleaning and free time.
Just remember that it is okay to let the house be a disaster. It’s okay to have to get fast food instead of making a fresh meal. There will be no set routine at first, but you will figure one out. Give yourself time to adjust to motherhood.
Remember to involve your partner.
I remember wanting Collin to help out so badly, but having no way of really involving him when I breastfed and Izzy always just wanted to cuddle me. When we have our next baby I want Collin to help out more with the diapers and the snuggles and the burping. Your partner wants to be involved with the baby; but sometimes you just have to let them know what to do.
ACCEPT. THE. HELP.
Don’t be proud. If someone wants to help you cook or clean or watch the baby while you nap - take advantage! People want to help you.
Remember that your body just went through a lot - give yourself time to rest.
You don’t have to look perfect all the time… Oh and make sure to check out my blog post on Loving Your Postpartum Body.
You don’t have to do your makeup everyday and have your hair look perfect. Your body may not snap back quickly. You’re going to be dealing with so much from just delivering a baby: like bleeding and engorgement and sweating and hair loss (at least those were some things I struggled with the right after Izzy was born).
Your body is capable of so much and it knows what it is doing. Let it take it’s time to go back to normal… Or to find it’s new normal. I always say my body is just completely different since having Izzy. And that’s okay because this body gave me my beautiful daughter!
And this one is so important.
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.
It’s okay to be so overwhelmed you just need to cry. You will probably have so many mood swings after your baby is here. Let yourself feel your emotions. And be honest with those around you about how you are doing. But if you notice something is wrong - please seek help. Don’t be afraid to tell others how you are really doing.
If I wasn’t as open as I am about my mental health I honestly don’t think I would be alive anymore. I needed a push from my husband to get help… and that is okay.
Postpartum Depression is real - especially when you already suffer from Anxiety and Depression normally.
If you need to, please see your doctor. See a therapist. See a psychiatrist. Be honest with them because they want to help you. You need to remember that your mental health has to come first because if you aren’t feeling okay mentally then it is so hard to function everyday (let alone function while taking care of a newborn).
Finally… soak in every second.
Time goes by too fast. You’ll blink and they’ll be grown. And all of those cliches about parenthood.
They’re all true.
Don’t waste a single second you are with your child. Soak it in. Focus on the cuddles, breathe in their scent (sounds creepy but if you’re a parent you know babies smell amazing)! Just squeeze them while you can! Remember that this season will pass before you know it and you’ll miss these days.
I have said this so many times but motherhood is just MAGIC.
I pray that if you are a new mom and you read this, that I helped you in some way. If you need any advice on motherhood please don’t hesitate to send me a message or an email!