Remember at the end of the Friends pilot, when Rachel cuts up all her credit cards? Monica gives her a big hug and says “Welcome to the real world! It sucks! You’re going to love it.” something about that moment reminds me of this. I felt grateful to walk with you on this journey. That you deemed me important enough and safe enough to open up to, and lean on. I know it hasn’t been an easy road to get here. There were obstacles, and twists and turns, and things no one could have predicted. But now here we are. We’ve arrived at the end, which is also the beginning. I am so excited that you have joined the club of motherhood.
Right now, you are in the trenches, and I see you.
Your body is tired and wrecked from birthing a baby. It is sore and oozy and gross, but even so you are amazed by what it just did. That tiny squish of a baby is beautiful and precious and snuggly and SO NEEDY. You aren’t able to sleep more than an hour. Who knows when the last time was that you showered, or changed into clean clothes. Even though you have people to help, and a partner who is in it with you, it feels like so much pressure. You are the Mom. It’s all on you. Feed. Comfort. Soothe. Rock. Change. Repeat. You’re balancing your needs with hers, and that stab of guilt every time you choose yourself is hard to overcome. Your body floods with adrenaline every time he cries, and you are wide awake afterward, on high alert. You don’t know what you are doing half the time. Is this right? Will it mess them up forever if I do it wrong? The stakes seem so high. It’s so hard. But then you try to be grateful because you wanted this, and it should be magical, and babies are precious and you must Savor Every Moment, right? Bull*&#t.
Babies are hard.
You just got thrown into a new full time job with minimal training, and it’s sink or swim. Sure there are moments of joy thrown in with the work. But make no mistake, it is hard work. The added pressure to enjoy every moment? You don’t need that. Right now, you just need to survive.
You can do this, friend.
Every time you mess it up, you are learning. Being there day after day, night after night, and showing up over and over is telling your baby that they are loved and safe and precious. I’ve seen you overcome challenges that would break other people. I’ve seen you tackle the hard things life has thrown at you and soldier on, still believing that life is good. I know you will do this again here, and that you will pass that strength on to your child. You are extraordinary and strong and brave and kind. I’m so glad to be with you on your mothering journey.