Are you struggling today? Me too. But guess what….we’re going to be ok.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, isn’t it? And not just for us first-timers. Veteran mama’s face many of the same challenges we do…except they’re probably doing it with a toddler hanging on their leg or coloring on the wall in their bedroom or whatever it is toddlers do to cause mischief.
Being a mom is overwhelming. I mean, we are responsible for another human life. Whoa. Basically, you carry this baby around inside your body for ¾ of a year, and I guess that somehow qualifies you to be responsible for a living, breathing, otherwise completely helpless human being?!! Pretty sure God is giggling for most of the first few weeks. Because let’s be honest…us newbies…we are clueless.
Of course, everyone has advice to offer, and many times obvious warnings to heed (yes, I know I’m not going to get much sleep…and yes, I’ve heard the poop can be atrocious…) But no matter how many books you read, blogs you follow, or other moms you talk to…it really is impossible to prepare for this ride they call motherhood.
It. Changes. Everything.
It changes your outlook on life in an inconceivable way. It changes your relationship with your husband in an overwhelming, wonderful and challenging way. It changes the functionality of your friendships. It creates a completely new “normal.” Simple tasks you once did without a second thought (running to the post office, going to the grocery store, showering…yeah) now must be planed and strategized. And the whole time you’re doing the said activity, you’re praying there’s no diaper blowouts or massive meltdowns because the seven-pound sweetie you have in tow has decided she needs to eat or be rocked or maybe she just likes hearing the sound of her own scream.
And, on top of all this, we have the societal pressures of raising a baby – breast milk versus formula, disposable versus cloth, scheduled feeding versus demand feeding, store bought versus homemade, new versus second-hand…wait, is this onesie made from organic cotton? I don’t know….should it be?! My head is still swimming with all of the new terminologies and opinions and options. We live in a “mommy culture” of unrealistic expectations and mom-shaming…even among our own friends. It’s a miracle we don’t all become hermits to escape the judging eyes of those who do things differently than us.
My seven weeks of being at home with our Little Bit hardly qualify me to hand out mothering advice. That’s not what I’m here to do. But I do know what it’s like to have a really hard day as a mom. So, just in case there’s another new mama out there reading this, I wanted to say…whatever your struggle is today…you’re not alone. My struggles may look different than yours, but we are in this together. And when you are at your wits end because you haven’t showered in days, there are baby excretions of some kind on your clothes and your attempts to soothe your screaming babe are to no avail…Stop. Breathe. Pray. I say this as much to myself as to you…because we all need to hear it now and again.
When my parents headed back home on Monday after a wonderful three-day weekend, my mom left this on my bathroom counter….
I know I can. And so can you.