To the Mum of the Newborn:
Congratulations! Your little one is finally here! They are no doubt perfect and squishable and surreally yours. What do you do now with this tiny bundle of joy?! And what if you’re not really feeling the joy part of the ‘bundle of joy’?!
I remember feeling so completely and utterly overwhelmed when I was the mum of the newborn, and I wonder if you’re feeling this too? I was a nervous wreck, worrying constantly about something happening to this precious, tiny little bundle; something happening to me, the person that had created this precious, tiny little bundle and wanted so much to be there for them. I remember feeling like everything I did was wrong, like I wouldn’t be able to cope with motherhood, and like I wasn’t deserving of this baby that I’d longed for for so long. But, do you know what? It was all ok in the end.
You might be suffering from a traumatic birth, from surgery, from stitches; alternatively you may have had the perfect birth for you, and be feeling incredibly proud of yourself, yet suddenly no one is interested in your achievements. Either way, it’s ok. It will all be ok.You may be struggling with breastfeeding; feeding constantly, problems with latch, breastfeeding aversion, wanting to do anything to avoid using formula. Alternatively, you may have already decided that you want to go down the formula route, but are worried that you’ll be judged for it. It’s ok. It will all be ok.
You may have spent some time in hospital after the birth, having midwives and nursery nurses looking in on you every five minutes. You wonder if you’ll ever be left alone to bond your new little family together at this rate. Alternatively, you may have been sent home on a six hour turn around, or maybe even had a home birth. And now you’re in charge of this new little person all by yourself. They may have screamed all night long until you resorted to phoning 111 to see if this is normal. It’s ok. Please trust me, Mum of the newborn, it will all be ok.You may have heard people talk about that mythical word ‘routine’. Yet your little one has no set routine, feeds round the clock, finishes a feed and wants another straight away, sleeps when they want to sleep and definitely doesn’t sleep when you want them to sleep. Alternatively your little one may have fallen straight into their own routine and you worry that you’re a bad parent for not waking them for a feed as the health visitor suggests. It’s ok. It will all be ok.
You may feel like they’ve always been here and wonder what you did with your time before you had them. Alternatively, you may be completely and utterly overwhelmed by their presence; how will you ever find the time to do the things you did beforehand?! To cook, to clean, to eat, to shower?! This little tiny person has crashed into your world and stolen life as you know it. In your darkest, most sleep derived moments, you might even wonder whether you made the right decision in having a child. It’s ok. It will all be ok.
You may be feeling down on your post baby body, feeling just as pregnant as you did before the baby arrived. And what’s with the random leg swelling and the light headedness constantly? Alternatively you may be weirdly proud of your marks and scars and lumps and bumps, and wondering if it’s normal to feel so pleased with your post baby body. Either way, it’s ok. Your body did good, Mum of the Newborn, and it’ll all be ok.
You may be wondering how you’ll ever get out of the house on time. Why are the doctors and midwives scheduling appointments for you at 9am?! Don’t they know that this means you’ll have to be up at least 5am to get ready?! Oh wait, you’ll probably also be up at 11pm, 1am, and 3am before that too… But it’s ok, it’ll all be ok.
You may have taken to new motherhood like a duck to water. Just look! You’re looking after a baby without even thinking about it! Alternatively, you may be feeling like a nervous wreck; overwhelmed with anxiety, worried about something happening to this little tiny person that you love so much. They just spit up a bit of milk: does that mean they’re poorly? They just. won’t. stop. crying. What on earth am I doing wrong?! You’re not doing anything wrong, I promise, sometimes babies just do these things. It’s ok. It will all be ok.And I can say this with the hindsight of 22 months’ worth of motherhood behind me. It will all be ok. The challenges change, and it’s never going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. It may not feel like it to you, the Mum of the newborn, but it does become second nature. You may fall naturally into a feeding and sleeping routine, or you may not, but either way you’ll get to know your baby like no one else can. They’ll start communicating with you in their own little way, and you’ll start to feel more confident. I promise.
Above all else, I promise that it’s ok. It’s ok to cry, to feel anxious, to feel overwhelmed, to feel as proud as punch, to be completely and utterly smitten with a little tiny human that you grew. It’s ok and it will all be ok.
Sending hugs, new Mummy. You will be more than ok: you’ll be fabulous!
Lots of love,
Mrs Lighty xxx
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