My sister-in-law’s baby shower is this weekend. Its been a chaotic week as we’ve rushed around to get everything ready for a beautiful get-together. We’ve worked hard and I hope that everyone oohs and awes over the decorations, devours the treats we have prepared, and laughs through the games. Hopefully, the momma of honor will love everything we have done and light up as she opens cute little outfits, stuffed animals, and more. I want it to be a wonderful day for her.
Watching my sister-in-law’s eyes light up and her smile stretch across her face throughout the day will bring joy to my heart. To see her happy and filled with excitement and anticipation for this big change in her life will be great. Amidst all this preparation, I started thinking about my own baby showers and how I felt during my own wonderful days. I remember that at one of my baby showers, each guest filled out advice cards for me and well wishes for my little boy. Reading through those cards was nice. They were filled with great advice and full of love. So I started thinking about what I would tell a new mom, now that I’ve been in her shoes. So, I penned the letter below to hopefully inspire a new mom and let her know that she is never alone.
To the New Momma,
First off, congratulations! This is the start of a beautiful next chapter in your life. The love you will feel for that little one is indescribable. The connection you will have with your loved one will be new and stronger than it ever was before. The magic you feel watching your baby grow and learn will touch your heart and introduce a level of pride you have never experienced. People say that having a child is like living with a piece of your heart walking around outside of your body and that is completely accurate. It’s a whole new kind of love.
All that being said, motherhood is hard. It is not all sunshine, rainbows, and fuzzy feelings. There will be a lot of tough times. You may experience post-partum depression. You may struggle with breastfeeding. You will be exhausted, delirious, and hormonal. All of these obstacles can make you feel like you’re failing as a mother. There will be times when you cry over your baby, wondering what you’re doing wrong. There will be times you snap at your loved ones because you just can’t take one more little thing. There will be times you break for no apparent reason at all. It will be hard.
You may feel like you’re not doing anything right. You may feel like you’re not enough. You may even question whether you were meant to be a mother. Just know, you are not alone. Motherhood is a community, an unspoken comradery of women. There are many, many women around you that have been where you are now. There are many mommas who have struggled the same way you are. There are countless mothers who understand you. So, when you’re up for the umpteenth time in the middle of the night, when your little one refuses to eat yet again, when you snapped at your loved one for something silly, or when you’ve put your baby in the crib crying and walked away to take a breath – just remember, you. are. not. alone.
You are not alone in this. And as a momma who has been where you are, I want you to know that it will get better. There’s a famous saying about raising children – the days are long, but the years are short. I remember when I was in the trenches of those first few months, I thought the dark times would never end. But as the months went on, it got easier. It got better. Eventually, the sun will shine again. And then you will look up and realize that months have passed in the blink of an eye.
So, try to focus on the good more than the bad. I know that is easier said than done, but try. Because I promise that these times won’t last. Revel in your little one’s coos and giggles. Enjoy your baby’s first smile and the feeling of their little hand wrapped around yours. Memorize it all. Take pictures. Record videos. Save it all to your memories. Because you will wake up one day and realize how much time has passed so quickly. And I promise that you will miss those early days. Despite the screams, the cries, and all of the bad days, you will miss it all.
So, remember you are not alone. This will be hard. But it is all worth it. It is whole new world, opening its door to you. So step on through, take it all in, and keep moving forward.