Last week I was sitting in Charlie’s room, watching him read a book on the floor. I had a feeling of deja vu from when I was a brand new mom, watching Charlie lay on the floor as I cried in his chair. I felt helpless and like I needed someone to tell me it was going to be ok. This memory made me want to write my new-mom self a letter (and any new mom’s out there!) and share my feelings on motherhood now that I’m 15 months in…
Life is about to get real. In a matter of seconds you are going to go from being selfish to selfless; in the best way possible. A new kind of love is going to encompass every inch of your being. You are a mom.
Some days are going to be great and some days are going to be really hard. Exhaustion is real. You’re not going to feel like a sane human for at least 6 months. It is going to test your relationships and some days are going to feel like there is no one else in the world doing what you’re doing. But there are. You have so many supporters. When you’re sitting in the dark, nursing Charlie at 2am, looking for lights in the apartment building across the street – I promise there are thousands of strong women doing the exact same thing at that very moment. At the end of the day, you may feel like you don’t have anything else to give. You’ve been pooped on, thrown up on, peed on, and haven’t showered in days – but when you look down at this tiny being sleeping on your chest, it is all worth it. Be gentle with yourself. Ask for help, give yourself a break, remember to take time to do things that make you happy. It will make you a better wife and mom.
One day you’re going to feel really broken. You’re exhausted, beat up, behind on work and gasping for air. But, you’re going to get up, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you can do it. That day is going to change everything. You’re going to find your confidence. You’re going to be a great mom.
Most days you’re going to stare at Charlie in awh that you created him. You are going to look at your husband in a different light because you see glimpses of him in your baby (and it’s the best). Time is going to start going by really fast. Too fast that you regret not enjoying the early days when you had the chance. Your baby boy is going to start exploring things without your help. Becoming this adventurous, strong, happy and independent boy at only 15 months old. You’re going to feel like you didn’t have enough time with him as a baby and as much as you want to go back, it is so much fun to move forward.
Everything takes a back seat to watching him grow. Nothing really seems as important. Life can change in an instance and every day feels so precious. Some mornings you wake up and it feels like he grew up overnight. Eventually you find your rhythm – you share more, go outside more and start introducing him to your schedule. It opens a new door and helps you feel a little more like the you before you became a mom. Sometimes life feels slower, like you have less to give or maybe that you’re stuck in the same place. Remember that everything you’re doing has a purpose now – even if it is sitting down and admiring your baby.
In the end, the days that test your patience will make you a better mom and eventually you’ll wish you could relive the days that felt impossible. You’re going to be just fine.
*Charlie at 15 months.