My take on the beginning of an amazing journey
It’s almost 11pm on a Friday night. Baby has finally decided to go to sleep, he really is a good sleeper, just tonight, he needed a little extra love.
I sit here writing this as the thoughts of the day fill my head. I am nearly 11 weeks postpartum and it feels as though my life has been like this forever, yet I yearn for my old, carefree ways. It’s a hard juxtaposition, new motherhood. You are flooded with questions about your preferences, if you have a “good baby” whatever that means… if you have established a routine, why he won’t take a bottle or why you shouldn’t let him nurse to sleep, shouldn’t pick him up as soon as he cries, shouldn’t let him sleep on you too much because he will get too used to that or why you shouldn’t give rice cereal, etc. The list goes on. These questions and pieces of advice start on day one and don’t stop. Most people are trying to be nice and you consider all the advice you are given but it often makes you second guess what you are doing and what is right for your baby. Don’t second guess your gut. If it is working for you, and working for your baby, in my opinion it is probably the “right way.”
While I am still a very new mom, it is amazing how you are so afraid ahead of baby coming and you worry about how you will manage, most of it comes naturally. In my short 11 weeks, I have realized is that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to babies. All babies are different. But, what I do know, and this is inserting my opinion so like I said, take the take what you want and leave the rest approach, babies cannot be spoiled by love. Babies have needs, babies need you and can be clingy – they just spent nine months inside your warm womb for heavens sake, it’s probably pretty scary and cold out here compared to in there. Hold them, love them and cherish their tiny beings, they are only small for a very short period of time – the newborn stage passes so quickly! Don’t blink, please don’t blink! At nearly 11 weeks, my boy is nearly crawling across the floor – he can’t wait to get going, get moving! I wasn’t prepared for how fast babies develop and learn, it is truly amazing to witness! I am thrilled he is so enthusiastic and so ready but, it is sad in a beautiful way that they grow up so quick, and this is only 11 weeks! So, when he needs to nurse to sleep or needs his comfort on me, I savour it. I don’t believe letting him fall asleep on me or in my bed will necessarily lead to bad habits. I am cherishing these small moments with my small boy before he gets too big.
Motherhood is beautiful. However, as a new mom you may (probably will) experience anxiety. All kinds of anxiety. Some of it can be completely unexplained. Maybe it’s the fact that you just went through such an amazing transformation and you not only birthed a baby but a mother as well. You may have moments where you feel completely helpless and you feel like you could just burst with love but you are so scared for this precious life all at the same time. This can lead to random crying episodes holding your tiny human in your arms while blubbering “you’re so beautiful” with your boob out. Yes, this happens, embrace it.
Motherhood is terrifying. Beautifully terrifying. You cringe at the thought of clipping your baby’s tiny fingernails because you don’t want any pain to be inflicted but, if you don’t, he will scratch himself. You hold your breath and try to sneakily do it. Eventually, you get used to the process and slowly the hands open up and they aren’t clenched tiny fists anymore and you miss the tiny closed fist hands, even though this makes the nail clipping job easier.
Ugh. Motherhood is also random, really random. You become scatterbrained and think thoughts like my last paragraph that may not make sense to anyone else but other mothers.
Motherhood is exhausting, it takes a village. While as a new mom, you may get a lot of unwanted advice and it will be annoying, it is also okay to ask for help and ask for input. It’s hard but it helps. Ask a friend to stop by to have dinner, to cook dinner, to bring you coffee. It all helps.
Motherhood is confining. Go ahead and get out. The house can become enclosing as a new mom but venturing out can be scary too. Once you get out of the house in those first couple weeks with baby it feels great! I felt empowered and excited. Most people are really helpful to new moms and it isn’t as scary as it seems.
If I have learned anything in these short 11 weeks, it’s that this love is deep and compares to nothing else. The bond only grows. At first some don’t feel it immediately and that’s okay. It develops and just continues to grow. It leaves you a tired mess and you care more about how your baby is dressed than yourself but you wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Motherhood is wondrous.
inspiring a feeling of wonder or delight; marvelous.
Oh, and p.s. drink all the coffee, it’s okay.
“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.”