Yo new mom, You got a new baby? They are fun, right? Eat, sleep and poop- repeat. Just know, you are totally going to lose sleep listening to that little babe breathing. And that’s okay.
It’s okay to feel whatever you are feeling. Nervous? Anxious? Feel like you don’t love the new thing sucking the life out of you? That is fine. It is all fine. Your emotions are your emotions and not everyone reacts to the birth of a baby the same way- even if you had totally different emotions when you had your first. Don’t let anyone tell you how you are supposed to feel- you have emotions and hormones surging through you. You are experiencing a wealth of new emotions. Accept that in whatever form you can. Pray, meditate, whatever you need to do to figure it out. And if it gets too bad, hell even if it is not too bad….
Ask for help. We thought we could do it all. We kicked people out of the hospital and out of our house, thinking we could handle this new baby and my recovery. Boy were we wrong. We quickly called back in the cavalry so that we could sleep, and eat something besides peanut butter crackers. And extend that help past the first couple of days. My sister would get me out of the house and helped me at least once a week for the first three months so I could just breathe. Go to the grocery store. Take a shower. Just be among people.
And please, let someone know if you are really struggling. One of these days I will put to paper what exactly was going on with me after E was born. But for now just let me say- tell people what you need and want. Tell your husband, your partner, your doctor. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of bravery.
Express what you are feeling. Don’t hold it in. Speak up for yourself. For your baby. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instinct. Tell people how you feel about things, and how you are reacting to things. Holding things in just leads to a buildup of emotions, without any release. Or a release that ends up being damaging to people and property. Find outlets for what you are feeling. There are resources like Talkspace, where you can talk to someone online about what you are going through. Grab a coloring book. Find a hobby. I started sewing as an outlet and a release from being mommy all the time. You need to make sure that….
Mom is not your only identity. You can easily feel like your titles become you. Mom/job title/wife/etc. Try and find something, anything that can help you not feel like any of the above. Blog, draw, create. Create new recipes for your baby. Even if it is for a few minutes a day, try and find a way to stop being just mom- and just be you.
I love my daughter, and fought for years to be able to have her. But if motherhood has taught me anything it is to not forget about me. And the relationship I have with my husband. To not forget I liked cooking and mindless Facebook scrolling. Because I am a much better mom, when I am happy and balanced.