Hi friends! In case you are not noticing the trend, I have been writing a lot of blog posts with top 5's or 10's. I find this super helpful for organizing my thoughts and I know it's easier to read for you guys too, so it is likely sticking! Anyways, I have a lot of new moms in my life right now and I have been getting a lot of questions on Instagram about early motherhood, so it is bringing up a lot of memories from the very early days (it is still VERY early but time moves extra slow in the first few months). The first few months of motherhood are EFFING HARD!!!! There I said it and you can too. If I could go back and tell myself a few things, I would.
Here we go...
1. Accept Every Ounce of Help! I don't know about you, but I did not accept much help at all. I am stubborn, I am independent, I am proud of these traits, but they probably made it harder on myself in the first few months of motherhood. People dropped off a lot of food which was amazing (thank you to any of you reading this!) and offered to do a lot (laundry, dusting, watch Jack while I slept), but I did not accept it! I had the "I am fine, I got this" mentality. Looking back, I would tell myself to accept every ounce of help. People want to help! I am at a point now where I accept so much more help and it feels great! So I look back and think, oh my gosh, if I accepted more in the beginning, it would have been so helpful! What I can promise you, is that when I have my second child, I will be accepting every offer! It does not make you a better or a worse person, it just makes your life easier and people TRULY want to help and be a part of your journey. If you are reading this and you are in the same boat, accept the help. Even ask for it! It will take even a little bit of your plate, which goes a long way. Trust me!
2. Your Body REALLY Will Heal in Time. We have this idea in our head that at 6 weeks your body should be back to normal because that is usually when you get the go ahead from doctors, right!? With exercising, normal activities, sex, etc. There is about to be some TMI coming your way, so any family members or people who are squeamish, you can stop reading this now... The "6 Week Go Ahead" IS HORSESH*T! If you felt great at 6 weeks, all the power to you! But most women I speak to do not feel normal until much, much later- AND THAT IS OKAY!!!! Think of what your body just did, why in the world would we think it would magically be better in 6 weeks!? I keep deleting what I am about to write (to avoid a vulnerability hangover + I worry people will be like "ew gross TMI!" but I am not going to keep it because I have had this question asked SO many times. It needs to be said so it can help others who are too afraid to ask or feel shameful about it!), your downstairs is going to look and feel VERY different for a long time. I finally felt normal at 6 months, not 6 weeks! We did not even attempt anything until 12 weeks (if you catch my drift) and let's just say it was a rare, scary + slightly painful experience that often required some wine. BUT, it really did get better with time. I did pelvic floor therapy to help but I can honestly say, I think time really was the most helpful. I was terrified I would never feel normal again + that I just had to accept that fate. It will get better! Your body just needs time, and a lot more time than we think!
3. You Are a REALLY Good Mom! People did tell me this, but it is different coming from yourself and when you truly believe it. I wish I reminded myself this more instead of focusing on what I was not in control of, or what I could improve on, etc. At the end of the day, all babies really need in the beginning is to be fed, loved, kept warm + their diaper changed. They do not come with an instruction manual, so any "hurdles" you are overcoming is trial/error, they do not make you a bad mom for not knowing what to do! If you are reading this and it is resonating with you, repeat after me, "I AM A REALLY GOOD MOM" and again, and again. Until you believe it, even if it makes you cry. You are a great mom and your baby adores you.
4. This Too Shall Pass! I was told this over and over again but I am only starting to see now, that it is 10000% accurate. When I was going through any hurdles with Jack (ex. sleep regression, digestive issues, dislocated elbow), it is hard to see the big picture. You think that things will always stay the same and this difficulty will be your new norm. Babies change, evolve, learn, grow, go through phases. I don't know about you, but no phase has been the same for us! And that is so reassuring and an excellent reminder on the more difficult days. It is much easier to see this in retrospect, but this mantra is sticking with me!
5. FEEL THROUGH IT ALL! You will cry, you will yell, you will feel anxiety, you will feel guilt, you will feel discouraged, you will feel insecure. FEEL THROUGH IT ALL! This is normal, this is needed + this is OKAY! (as long as it is not directed maliciously at someone). There are highs, there are lows, there are in betweens. Life with a newborn= uncertainty + lack routine/control/sleep + raging hormones. That is all happening while you are trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in your day to day life (with other kids, spouse, a business, family, etc). You are going to FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL hard. It will allow you to grow and learn, it will be hard. But girrrrrrl, you got this.
If this post resonates with you, I am sending all the love + good energy your way! If you have any questions, I love chatting with you so feel free to message me on Instagram @kale.ahhh or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org xx