Those First Few Months

Bennett is 4 months old.  I honestly can't believe it...

It feels like just days ago when I was holding him at the hospital eager to bring home my perfect new baby in his perfect new “take home outfit.” I remember feeling like I no longer needed anyone’s help.  In the hospital, my perfect baby slept like a perfect angel in his perfect swaddle.  What lay in store for me, as for any new mother, was entirely different and something you’re never truly prepared for. 

These past 4 months as a first time mom has been the most humbling experience of my life.  Motherhood has beat me down physically and emotionally.  There should be a new word for tired to describe those first few months as a new mother.  My body was unrecognizable and it was no longer my own.  I was in pain that no amount of Motrin would relieve.  I was experiencing anxiety and sadness.  And even though my husband was home from work at 6:30 every evening and helped in every way he could, I felt lonely because there was just no way he could understand what I was feeling.  There was no way he could understand what I was going through. 

Then one day, things got better.  It's hard to pinpoint when, but my days with Bennett became easier.  I began to understand him, and he began to become acclimated to living in this world, trusting I would keep him safe.  The pain from childbirth subsided.  I got the green light from my physician to start exercising again, and I did just that when Bennett napped.  With the goal to capture memorable pictures of Bennett, I began to gain a deeper understanding of my camera (something I have always wanted to do).  I decided to let go of the career goals that were solely based on “getting ahead” and not something that would fulfill my heart. 

If you were like me, you probably knew during your pregnancy that you would be one of those new moms who would "do it all."  You, like me, would continue to work 5 (or 6) days a week; continue to work out daily; continue to roll out medical publications; continue reading the books on a "must read" list; and continue to play guitar.  You, like me, would continue to do all these things because you are organized, an achiever, and have always reached your goals.

Well new momma, you probably won’t.  And if you did keep all your “I can do it all” commitments, I need you as a life coach.

Our days, whether you’re back to work or a stay at home mom, now comprise the nurturing of a tiny human being who is 100% dependent on you.  I spend my day clothing and cleaning my baby, making sure he is not too hot or too cold, and feeding him from my own body to make sure he continues to grow and thrive.  I spend my day making him smile, consoling him when he cries, making sure to ease his discomfort, and making sure that he always feels loved and safe. 

Motherhood is a juxtaposition of the greatest struggles you will face with the greatest delights.  At times you will feel as though it is impossible.  There were days I wished for my old, pre-baby life back and then I would cry uncontrollably that the thought even entered my head. But I promise you will get through it.  Every time Bennett smiles at me, the memory of those first couple of months becomes more and more distant. 

I wanted to share my experience in case a new mother is feeling defeated at 2:30 AM and searching the internet for something relatable (as I did).  Pretty soon motherhood is going to fall into place for you as well, and you will feel an even better version of yourself soon emerge.  Because even if you don’t believe motherhood is life’s most important job or hardest job, it is the most impressive job to your new child.  There is nothing more incredible and impactful.  And it is something to be honored. 
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