My friend had a baby yesterday and I could not be more excited. I have been a mother myself for 21 years and lots of thoughts are coming to mind that I want to share for her benefit and as a reminder for all of us not-so-newbies.
- The focus is on the baby now that she’s here, but you are important too. You are a CHAMPION WARRIOR QUEEN and I hope you remind yourself of that truth often. YOU DID IT. You (and your husband) ((and God)) made a WHOLE NEW HUMAN BEING! Thank you for doing the very challenging work of bringing hope and joy and sweetness into this world! And thank your mom for bringing YOU into the world. Take a second and realize that all this hype over your new baby is similar to the celebration over you when YOU came into this world. Though mom gets lost in the shuffle of caretaking BIG TIME, know that you are special, important, a miracle yourself and ALSO worthy of care, swaddling, and drinking every two hours if you cry hard enough.
- Parenting is selfless and unconditional and rewarding and also SO VERY HARD. You will be shocked at how hard it is. I mean, you already know it will be “demanding” and “overwhelming” and “a challenge” and that you’ll “never be the same.” But dude. You are about to KNOW it. Please allow yourself to admit that it is hard. Remember that mistakes are OK and we all make them and none of them will be a deal-breaker—not even if she loves musicals and hates snow. You will make this parenting thing look easy but it’s okay if it turns out to be harder than you imagined. It was/is hard for EVERYONE at times. And if it’s not hard now, then it’s about to be.
- When you are tired and he is tired and you both need sleep and there’s none happening, and we are done with all the celebrating and excitement and joy and there’s just mess and stuff and needs and sickness and responsibility, do this: breathe in & breathe out and remind yourself that you can do this. If you are feeling defeated and alone and worn and done, remember there are others who feel and have felt how you do. Tell someone, take a nap and treat yourself. Every day is Mother’s Day.
- Reality is the most creative, beautiful, original life there is—not Pinterest. Not Facebook. Not Instagram. As addicted as we all are to the “money shots” don’t forget that it is only a fraction of what is happening in anyone’s world. In my day we only had to deal with Family Fun magazine and Woman’s Day with the smiling perfection beaming with a perfect meal on the table and a spotless home. All I had to do was not look at the magazine and/or throw it away. Now we are bombarded with perfection and its easy to lull yourself into thinking this is what everyone is experiencing except you. Remember that Life Online has been heavily edited. As a friend once told me, “Lift Any Roof.” Inside every. Single. Home. you will find some non-postable issue with each and every man/woman/child/family. We are all struggling but are blessed with sharable moments. Keep sharing yours, but keep others’ in perspective.
- Let life change. It will not be what you expected. Repeat after me: IT. WILL NOT. BE LIKE I EXPECTED. Not the outfits, not the holidays, not the photo ops, not the meals, not the body shape, not the Sunday mornings. Nothing will be like you envisioned. Let it be. It will still be great…just a different great.
- Remember how loved you are. Take the love you have for that baby every moment of every day and bask in the brand new awareness that you were created by your Creator to help Him create. He gazes over you as you gaze over that sweetie. He has big plans for you and for her but it almost doesn’t matter at the moment because of all the love. Feel it. Know it. Rest in it.
- Congratulations and welcome to the Crazy Fun Exciting Amazing Adventurous Parenthood Club! May the force be ever in your favor as you ease on down the road. December 1, 2015 is a great day to be a family!