They say hindsight is 20/20, and it’s remarkable how smarter and more confident we get over time, especially on the parenting front. I recently wrote a blog post for the Huggies Momville site, about what I’d say to myself as a new mom if I could go back in time.
You’re doing a great job looking after yourself and your baby, and well done on breastfeeding so well, remaining fairly relaxed, and establishing a routine which was so important to you.
You are scared that life won’t ever be the same again, and that you’ll never actually have a life again. Relax. You will. And in fact, life will be better than before. You’ll get to a point where you’ll say “My life was empty without a child” and “With what mundane things did I fill my life with before?”. You’ll still run – not as much as before, but eventually you won’t mind. Your life will be defined by different and sometimes more important things. And that’s okay.
You’re feeling a little blue that your life has changed so much. Get help. It’s normal that you’re feeling like this, but it doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. Chat to your doctor NOW! These feelings of regret, fear and feeling like the worst mom in the world are irrational. And no, your newborn is not looking at you and hating you and thinking you’re ugly.
You’re wanting the first few weeks and months to speed by but try to relish them, despite the challenges. You’ll miss them one day, and realise what a gift they were, and how having your newborn fall asleep in the cradle of your arm, or on your shoulder might never happen again. Development is wonderful and so is looking forward, but don’t forget the awesomeness of the now. Don’t wish it away.
You feel like a fat cow most of the day, most of which is irrational. Look how your baby is growing and thriving – that’s due to you, and the wonderful care around him. Yes, you’re a feeding machine, but you don’t look bad. Or like a dairy animal. At all.
As with everything, the tough times pass. Look after yourself and be a little gentler on yourself too. You’re doing a wonderful job. No one will tell you that, so don’t rely on it. Just know it.