Dear Desperate New Mother,
I’m looking at you. You know who you are: the one with a brand-new bundle of joy. Maybe you’re freshly home from the hospital, or maybe you’re two months into this mothering gig.
It’s hard, right? I mean, everyone told you it would be hard, but so what? It’s not like you could do anything to prepare. Not really. And now you’re in the thick of it and it’s hard to the billionth power. Like, another-dimension hard.
I mean, I kind of had a difficult newborn who cried the entire time she was awake and couldn’t figure out how to feed. But I’d imagine that even if you’ve been blessed with a Sleepy McSleepster who eats like a champ, you still may be thinking um, WTF just happened to my life.
And even if you wanted this baby with every fiber in your entire being — longed for it like you’ve longed for nothing else before — it’s still effing hard.
Perhaps you’re googling things like, “I’m feeling overwhelmed by my baby” or “When will my baby get easier?” or even “I don’t like my baby right now.”
Been there, done that. I’ve googled all of those things, multiple times. I came across the same sites over and over again, but nothing really brought me any measure of comfort.
So that’s what I am hoping to do. Bring you comfort.
It gets easier, mama.
I swear. I SWEAR.
It may not seem like that’s possible right now, but believe it, sleep-deprived new mama. Believe.
Like, is it easy for me now? Um, no. But it’s definitely easier. I’m getting more sleep, for starters. Not enough, but more. My babe usually takes two naps a day (except for when she’s at daycare, then she’s a sleepless wild woman), and unless she’s sick, she sleeps ok at night. My baby is happy now. She smiles at me all the time and sometimes even laughs. When she cries, there’s usually a reason. Also, she’s more independent. I can put her in her exersaucer and she’ll play in there by herself for a solid 15 minutes. 15 minutes of hands-free time! Can you imagine, mama? I couldn’t, when I was in your shoes.
Ok, great, good for you, you might be thinking — but when? When does it get easier? For me, things started to get gradually better around 3 months. The incessant crying stopped right around then. And now, 6 months in, she’s like a whole new baby. I rarely see any sign that her crazy newborn self ever existed.
I know you might be thinking that you can’t possibly wait until three months for things to start getting easier, and maybe you won’t have to. Every baby is different. But if you do have to wait that long, I’m here to tell you that you can do it! You can! Ask your friends for help, hire a post-partum doula — do whatever you need to get through these first few months.
You are doing a great job.
You are a wonderful mama.
And, most importantly, you are not alone. Every mama under the sun has slogged through these early days, and we all made it to the other side. That’s how we know you will, too. Picture us rooting for you, waving cheerful flags, shouting words of encouragement every step of the way.
You got this, mama. You are a rock star.