I wish there was a way I could go back in time and actually give you this letter. Your entry into motherhood was a bit abrupt with your little man making his appearance a month early. Obviously you were excited but your anxiety didn’t really deal well with this change in the plan.
In any case, here are a few things I want to tell you about your life the moment you became a mom. I’m writing this in hopes that this will speak to someone else going through the same thing.
First – you’re a great mom. The fact that you worry day in and day out about it makes you a good mom. Are you perfect? Heck no. There is no such thing. You are a human and therefore flawed. However your heart is in the right place and because of that, you are doing great.
Nothing goes according to plan. I know you are a bit of a control freak and when things don’t go as planned, this sends you into a panicky spiral. I’ll save you some time and energy now…nothing EVER goes according to plan. It’s ok to have a plan but know you will likely have to change it. This is especially true if you’re trying to be somewhere on time. Your baby WILL have a massive blow-out. It’s a fact. Accept and embrace the gong show that is now your life.
This too shall pass. No matter how sh*tty (literally, sometimes) a moment or phase is, give it time and it will pass. The sleepless nights, the constant sickness, the never ending diapers and snot wiping…it will all pass. You just have to hunker down, put on a pot of coffee and get through it. There are happier times on the other side.
Your marriage will take a hit. Listen, you make a tiny little human, bring it into the world and then are sent home with the instructions “KEEP THIS ALIVE” Remember how you can’t even keep a plant alive for more than a month? Now you have a tiny baby completely dependent on you and your husband and neither one of you know what the f*ck you’re doing. Not a single clue. You’re both drained, you’re both confused and bewildered. Sleep becomes a form of currency. You both feel like you’re doing more than the other. You sometimes don’t like each other. Refer to the above…try and have a semi-regular date night and this too shall pass. You will come to like each other again.
You will lose yourself but you will find yourself again. This will be a hard one for you to come to terms, and then ultimately deal with. After you have O, you will completely immerse yourself in being a mother. You won’t eat, you won’t sleep, you don’t even give yourself time to go to the bathroom for fear of your little dude crying or needing you.
Here is the thing I wish you learned a lot sooner – you are doing no favours to your children when you aren’t taking care of yourself. You will feel resentful and burnt out. You will feel so detached from what really matters. As the famous saying goes – if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy.
Your happiness is JUST as important as your little one’s. Take time to do things that matter to you. Whether it’s shopping (BUY SOME CLOTHES THAT YOU FEEL GOOD IN EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE SIZE), reading, exercising, showering (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, YOU’RE ALLOWED TO SHOWER). Yes, you’re a mother, but you’re also a person with needs. There is nothing selfish or wrong about needing to take care of yourself.
Every day is a new adventure. Some days you can’t believe how full your heart is, while others you may want to run away. It’s healthy to feel the full range of emotions (even if you don’t want to). Above all else, remember…YOU’RE DOING AN AMAZING JOB.