Gosh…I feel like all my posts are about surviving the 1st year of motherhood and how AvaMarie is growing up so fast…and I’m sorry to do this…but here is another one.
I guess I’m just in the mood to keep reflecting on this past year. And I’m gonna go ahead and drag everyone else along.
I decided to write a letter to myself last year. Everything that I would have wanted to tell myself as a brand spankin new mama.
So here goes nothing:
Congratulations!!! You are a mom….and you will now be a mom for the rest of your life. I know. It’s scary. I know you feel like you have NO CLUE how to be a mom and you’re pretty panicked right now, but my only advice to you is to trust yourself. You have everything it takes to be a great mother. You have just as much capabilities as the mom next to you. Speaking of the mom next to you…DON’T compare yourself to her. Just don’t. It’s just going to cause a lot of self-consciousness, self-doubt, worrying, anxiety, and even misery all for nothing. She is not you and you are not her…therefore you will never ever be the same mom. You both are great moms even if you don’t do everything she does. So, just don’t even go down that road. (I know you will…but I just want to try to save you the trouble).
Anyways, I wish I could tell you that being a mom isn’t hard…but it is. This will be the most challenging thing you ever do. It will stretch you more than anything else. But eventually you will come to realize that being a mom forces you to become selfless. And you will then realize that you are so much more joyful when you stop living for yourself.
However, this does NOT mean you should stop taking care of yourself and nurturing yourself. It is actually selfish not to treat yourself with some dignity. So with that said…I want you to remember it’s ok to give yourself some love…..and not feel guilty about it. There’s going to be a lot of new “mom guilt” you will experience and its d-u-m-b. Don’t fall for it. You are NOT a bad mom if you take a moment to go ahead and take a shower and feel pretty instead of clean up the house. In fact, this first year of motherhood….cleaning should be your last priority.
Another thing you should know is that you are beautiful…yes, post-pregnancy body, stretch marks and all.
You just grew a freaking human being….can’t get more awesomely beautiful than that.
Also….go ahead and choose not to criticize yourself. Because you know what??? Every child screams in Mass, every child ruins several outfits, every mom forgets diapers or pacifiers at the most inconvenient of times, and not a single mom out there knows all the answers to motherhood. We’re all just winging it. So YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Don’t isolate yourself…go ahead and meet other moms and as scary as it is, put yourself out there to make new mom friends. You will need them. Don’t lose your old friends, but find some mommy friends….they will be some of the best support for this first whirlwind of a year.
Finally….trust yourself. You don’t become a mom throughout this year…you already ARE a mom and you have what it takes. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to mess up. If I could tell you one thing to get you through this year it would be that you have what it takes; you do enough; you ARE enough.