Dear New Mama…

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 can do all things...

through Christ.

I know I can. And so can you.

With Grace,

Jen

11 thoughts on “Dear New Mama…

  1. Beautifully said, Jen–and even though it has been almost 4 and a half DECADES since I was a new mom, you have captured many of my memories. And your very wise mother is right again—you can do all things through Christ!!

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  2. I needed this! Thank you! I hope and pray I haven’t been one of those mother’s who pressure another mother, but I’m sure I probably have at some point. Thank goodness for forgiveness and the dawn of a new day where we can get another chance to get it right…this time by God’s standards.
    Much Love,
    Molly

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    • Molly – I honestly think we are all guilty of doing this at some point! But I think more than passing judgement, it is that we are comfortable with our own ways of parenting and are challenged by views different than our own. I have tried to be open minded when around my mommy friends who choose to do things differently than me…and at the same time, I try not to compare myself to other mamas! We are each chosen to be mothers for a reason, and more specifically, to be mothers to our own little ones who are chosen by God specifically for us!

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  3. I needed to hear it today too Jen! ALL moms struggle and if they say they don’t they are lying! It is by God’s AMAZING grace that myself and my two are still here! Thanks for your encouraging words. I hope you and your beautiful family are doing well. Keep the faith and pray hard!

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    • Amy – Motherhood is definitely a struggle some days, but the most beautiful struggle I can imagine! God’s grace saves me on those days I don’t think I’m strong enough for the job. HE is our strength!!

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  4. I love this Jen! I remember feeling the exact same way when our first born came along. Now she is 18 months old and I’ll tell you it gets easier in some ways and harder in others. Everything is a phase. We are preparing to welcome our second child in September and I’m terrified of going through that newborn stage again but with a toddler this time! I’ll remember to stop, breathe, and pray.
    I came across your blog from some mutual friends and I look forward to reading your updates. Prayers to you today and everyday.

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    • Jessica – I’m so glad you came across my blog, and I so appreciate your comments! Even on the hard days, I never wish time to go faster because I know that I will blink and these precious moments with our baby will be gone! Every phase will have it’s unique challenges, but more importantly, it will bring special milestones and joys! I will send up a special prayer for you and your little one coming in September. You can do it mama!!

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  5. Jen,
    As someone who is approaching motherhood for the first time – hopefully any day now – I truly appreciated this latest post. I feel like everyone is telling me a 100 different ways to raise our baby, and it seems so confusing and scary! I know from watching other moms, and how I was raised this is going to be the best thing ever, but it will take a lot of support and prayers. I appreciate you and your blog. And I know that with God on our side, everything is possible!
    Shelia

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    • Shelia – I’ll be thinking about you in the coming days as you enter this journey of motherhood! You are so right…it is an incredible blessing and there is truly nothing better…but it will also challenge you in ways you never imagined! Just remember God chose YOU to be your little one’s mommy…and YOU know how to best care for your baby!! Prayers to you sweet mama!

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  6. You are doing a great job. Somedays are definitely easier than others, and it goes by in a blur. As a mom who just had her 4th baby two months ago, I can tell you there are still new things that surprise me every day and I have plenty of moments where I still feel like I have NO CLUE what I am doing. All of you sweet first time mamas, hang in there, you’ve got this. As long as you are doing what’s best for you and your family, that’s all that matters.

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