Saturday, June 14, 2014

A pep talk for future me (And you too, if you have a new baby)

When we know someone who has a new baby, sometimes we imagine that they don't want us around, interrupting, because they sit a lot just snuggling their sweet newborn. HA! It's funny, because I still think that way, even though I've now experienced it twice and know that having a newborn is anything but relaxing. I forget that babies are crazy hard, even while I have them. I just assume it's hard just for me because I'm weak and have a low tolerance for crying and fatigue.

So this post is for any new moms (or dads) who might need a pep talk, or for anyone who knows a new mom/dad and just wants a little more understanding of what they're experiencing, if they're anything like me. It's a pep talk I wrote to my future self when I have my next baby, so that I don't forget all these things I'm going through and freak out again that it's all not normal. It is normal, at least for me. If you've never had kids or never experienced any of this and are reading - please don't judge anything you don't understand.

I wrote this about when McKenna turned two months old.

K listen sister. Having a newborn is hard. HARD! Remember, all this is normal:
You’re going to want to kill your husband, and pretty much anyone else you come in contact with, around week 6, give or take a week and include those weeks as well. It’s going to last a while. Suck it up. Stay silent. Or rage at some paper. It’s ok. It’s normal. You’ll get through it.
You’ll regret your womanhood and become bitter that you are the ONLY one that can feed your baby most of the time. You’ll hate it. It’s normal. You’ll get through it.
You won’t sleep the way you want for a long time, and this will be SO HARD the first couple months. Ask for help. Seriously. Ask someone to take at least one child or something. You can’t do it alone. Well, you can, but why torture yourself if you have willing friends? And you’ll get through it. Even if you do end up being too proud to ask for help. (Which you probably will.) You’ll all live.
You’ll have a hard time bonding with your child. This is normal (for you), and you will grow in love. It’s hard for you for a while because the lack of sleep is so overwhelming you just feel like everything is falling apart and this baby doesn’t even respond to you and all the things suck. At first, it will be merely instinct holding you two together, but little by little, you’ll fall in love. You’ll admire the way light reflects on their eyes, or they’ll lock glances with you and you'll really see them, or they’ll make a cute noise, or you’ll just feel this incredible sense of peace while breastfeeding – hold on to those moments, and enjoy them. They will get you through. You will find little things to fall in love with, and before you know it, you’ll be entirely smitten by your own choice. Don’t feel guilty. It’s not personal. You're not a bad mom. It’s just hard. But you’ll get there. You’ll get through it.
Gas drops will come in handy starting around week 5. If they’re super cranky around then, buy some and try it out.
Acne around weeks 4-7 is normal, and hopefully it will be gone by 8 weeks/2 months. Don’t worry about it. It’ll pass.
Tummy sleeping is scary, but it helps with the gas. Do what you need to do to survive. Remember that Heavenly Father is invested in your children’s well beings also, and he will make up for what you can’t do. He will watch over them and let you know when they need help. Don’t be careless, but be smart about your limits and abilities. If your child screams bloody murder every time they're placed on their back, and for hours at a time - it's ok to try their tummy if they can hold themselves up. People have done it this way for decades, if not centuries.*
Speaking of which, when you feel like you’re going to throw the baby across the room (and you will feel that way), put them down and let them cry. Remember that Purple Crying video they gave you in the hospital and made you promise to watch? They do that for a reason. Everyone feels this way! Take a break. You work so hard, you deserve it. Don’t feel guilty. You need time to recharge or you’ll be overworked and hating life.
Also, did your older kid(s) eat cereal for breakfast, and bread for lunch, and then animal crackers for dinner? For the last week? Hey! Congratulations for keeping food in the house! You’re doing great. See her running around, playing? She's clearly fine. You’ll all live, and soon you’ll be wanting to put effort into food again. But don’t rush it. You’ve got time. You’ll get through it.
Remember, you can do this. It’s hard, and that’s ok. Ask for help. It’s not shameful or embarrassing. It’s necessary. And fine. And even great. Get through the first few months however you need to, and you’ll be great. Take advantage of the first few weeks where they just sleep through anything. Love them. Snuggle them. Adore them. And scream and cry and rant when you need to.

It’s all going to be oooooooooooooookkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. (Deep breath)

And if you're having a hard time, too, this is for you! Insert [whatever your struggle is here], and then remind yourself, "I'll get through it." You will. You really, really will.

*I don't want your opinion on whether or not I should let my child sleep on their stomach. Or anything else here. This post is intended to help, not hurt. The end.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I need to come and visit you (or you are welcome to come here, I just got the girls a kiddie pool and we could just let the older girls play in the water while we watch and chat)! It's a great pep talk!