I think I often post the gushy lovey dovey side of mommy-hood, and I often over-look the realities of what a day in the life of a new mommy is. So for all you mommies who have fumed over the “perfect” reality some try to sell you on; this post is for you.
Being a new mom is NOT beautiful.
Sure you have those fleeting moments of snuggling with your newborn, and seeing them peacefully sleeping, that take the tinge out of the fact that you haven’t slept for 5 months. But the reality is that YES, I too have gone 3 days without a shower because I literally did not have the time or energy to take one. If you see me in public and think, “wow she’s got the hang of this.” Please immediately dismiss that notion from your mind, I’m suffering right along with you ladies. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, LOVE being a mother. But it is NOT all sunshine and rainbows, and it is literally the hardest thing I have EVER done.
The reality is, when my friends who work long hours or were out all night drinking complain about being “tired” I want to punch them in the face. I too used to work all-nighters and 70+ hour work weeks, and it is NOT the same. When I say I haven’t slept in 5 months, that is NOT an exaggeration; you new mommies out there know what I’m talking about! We literally have not slept. So no, we probably don’t want to hear about your binge drinking festivities that kept you out till 3am. What I wouldn’t give to sleep till 3am…
The reality is, it’s HARD.
I’ve had many jobs in my time, and I can tell you motherhood has been the hardest of all. It’s completely time consuming. All of your time goes towards taking care of this little baby that can’t even say, “thank you” yet. In fact, you’ll rarely feel any type of gratification for the good work your doing. No promotions, no raises, no time off; you’ll get nothing. Except the reality that this IS your life.
The reality is, I too get upset and frustrated. Okay, now I might differ with some moms here; I’ve never directly been upset or frustrated with my little one. Because I understand this is all out of her control as much as it is mine, BUT I have had my mornings of being mad; just plain mad that at that moment. Thinking there is no light at the end of the tunnel and that this is my reality for the next few years until she’s a bit older. Then trying to accept that there is really nothing I can do about it. Yes, I too have not wanted to respond to her crying. I have had my moments where she wants picked up, and all I can think about it how amazing a nice long bubble bath by MYSELF would feel. Actually, how amazing doing anything by MYSELF would feel. And in those moments, I might let her cry bit longer than I feel like I should.
Here is the reality, I’m here to tell you it’s OKAY!
All of the things I have mentioned above and more are OKAY, and you’re doing OKAY. This is all normal adjusting, and the reality I have to remind myself as well is, “this too shall pass.” Babies are babies, and they won’t always be.
Now I’m not trying to scare you new mommies either, let me tell you I have NEVER done anything more important and rewarding in my entire life. I wouldn’t change a THING about any of it; it’s the absolute best. I think you ladies should know by now how I feel about motherhood. I’m trying to get the point across that it absolutely sucks sometimes, and that’s okay. I’m in a constant state of sleep deprivation (which in many countries is a type of torture) and I frankly don’t really care what my hair and make-up looks like anymore. I forget to eat because I’m so busy, or gorge eat on occasion because I’m not sure when the next time I’ll have to eat is, which perpetuates a bad cycle. Then I’m even more tired and I feel like a disaster most of the day.
We mothers don’t live for the glamour and latest mommy accessory. We live for those two second fleeting moments where our little ones try to say, “ma-ma.” Or the looks on their faces when they see a puppy for the first time. Or the smiles and giggles they give us when they are excited as we reach out to pick them up. Those moments are also moments only a mother really truly appreciates to the full capacity. It’s an exclusive club we’ve all become members of, and no one else will really ever get it. That’s why we do this. Not because it’s beautiful, because it’s not. Not because it’s easy, because it’s NOT. Not because we’re good at it, because what mother truly believe she’s “good” at it. We’re all just doing the best that we can, and that’s okay. It’s okay to sit on the couch all day in your pajamas and ask your mom to come over and make dinner for you because you’re too tired. It’s okay to tell your husband tonight’s not good when company wants to swing by; let’s face it, nursing covers are freaking annoying. It’s okay to complain about it! It’s not easy, we literally deserve medals for this job. I just try to tell myself, it’s temporary, all of it.
One day our children will leave our house and be off chasing their dreams, and we will be waiting by the phone to hear they’re okay and that they miss us. One day they will have children of their own, and we’ll have to hold our tongues as they make every parenting mistake we did, and we’ll just have to hold their hand through those hard days. This is all temporary. And when you catch yourself tired, exhausted, and wanting to throw your hands in the air; just remember to laugh at yourself. At all of it, because we only get these little angels for a small piece of their life. On those days when you’re not sure you can get through another sleepless night, just try to hear me telling you, “you CAN, you got this.” Because you do, and you CAN. It doesn’t mean you’ll like it, it doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time, and it doesn’t mean you have to look good doing it; because you don’t have to (props if you do). But you CAN do it. Just try to keep your perspective, and remember that this little being you created is a blessing who has enriched your life in ways you’ve yet to even discover. So I’m with you girl, I’m in the trenches too with blood shot eyes, and globs of hair falling out in the shower. Stop stressing, drink a glass of wine (yes…drink it…who cares), have someone take the baby for a couple hours even if you have to PAY, and either take a nap or get a pedicure or do both; cut yourself some slack. Press reset, and get at this, and remember it’s OKAY to not have it all together. None of us do, that doesn’t make you less of a good mommy, or less of your little one’s hero (or mine for that matter). There is a light at the end of this sleepless tunnel (not a train I promise), and we’ll get through this, I got your back. Trust me, as always.