Dear new momma,
Written by Lauren Daniel
I’m not sure if it started when you saw the two lines or if it was the time you felt butterflies only to realize it was much more than that. You may have still been in a bit of denial until you heard that first cry and looked into those swollen little eyes for the first time. It was a long 9 months coming but just like that, you are now a mother.
Your world has just shifted into a 24-hour a day job that involves caring for a tiny human who relies on you for everything. Everything. That everything has been haunting you since you saw that positive pregnancy test. I mean, sometimes you forget to brush your teeth, how in the world could you possibly be trusted to raise a child?
Fast forward to a couple of weeks after this new glorious love filled your heart so naturally and you’re still not quite getting the hang of breastfeeding. It hurts and it’s hard. Your baby cries a lot and you can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong. You’ve combed the forums and googled all the things but still, things aren’t going smoothly. You write down when you feed and for how long, track their sleep, and poops. Yes, you even write down when they poop because you just have to get it right. You don’t want to screw them up. You think to yourself, how can this be happening, how can I already feel like I’m doing so much wrong?
The screw up started with a C-section which was the opposite of what you’d planned. Then you ended up giving your baby a bottle after a few days when breastfeeding wasn’t going well and all the blogs say never to do that as early as you had. It doesn’t stop there, you decided you hate cloth diapers, so I guess you’re not going save the planet. Then sleep deprivation steals all of the joy from your soul and you try “cry it out” even though you swore you never would. You look in the mirror and don’t recognize yourself. What have you become? You said would never be that mom.
Well, you are that mom. That mom who loves her child fierce. Who would go to the ends of the earth to ensure they are safe and happy. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to change your mind. IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE LIKE THE OTHER MOMS. It’s okay to feel tired, alone, afraid, and hurt. I’m giving you permission to fail but NOT to feel like a failure. You’re learning how to do a new job with a new human. This human is not like that one in the book or on the blog--this tiny, sweet human is your human. They are unique, just like you. I want you to think of these moments of failure as learning curves. Figuring out how to bend and not break in the midst of a storm. At the end of every day I want you to take a deep breath, give yourself a pat on the back for making it through and indulge yourself in a long bubble bath.
Momma you’re doing it. You’re in the grind. There are no wrong answers, no obvious solutions, and no quick fixes. Take it one day at a time, one moment at a time, and give yourself a little grace in the process. That sweet child is yours to hug and hold and love forever. That’s all that matters. Don’t let, even for a second, failure steal your joy. Be confident in yourself. Even in changing your mind. You get to decide what is best. YOU are what is best for that baby. You are enough.
PS- You got this.
Lauren Daniel is a freelance food writer, graphic designer, and mama living in Austin, Texas with her husband, baby girl, and pup. When she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you can find her strolling local thrift shops and record stores, enjoying coffee with her husband, or hosting friends at her home. You can find her on instagram @mrslaurendaniel.