Bliss + Breakdowns | First Weeks of Motherhood
My boy is a MONTH! A part of me already cannot imagine life before him. And yet, another part of me is still transitioning away from the freedom that once was. Motherhood is selflessness in every sense, and I am forever changed.
I am learning the love for a child is limitless and knows no bounds. I am learning how to give up parts of myself for him, while still hanging onto the person I was before. And I am learning how to celebrate the beauty in every moment. This moment. Because the present has never felt more fleeting than it does as a new mother, watching my child grow, and grow… and grow.
Motherhood is every feeling. It is blissful, and beautiful, and hard, and terrifying. But mostly, it is love.”
This post is (fittingly) titled ‘Bliss + Breakdowns’ because the first weeks as a new mom are just that. The bliss is found in the utter happiness I feel for this beautiful human I housed for nine months. His sweet smell, and slight smile, and wiggly legs fill my heart with a kind of joy I never felt until now. Even his spit-up somehow manages to feel magical… (gross, I know). I find myself holding him close in the stillness of the night, in disbelief he is mine. We are each other’s. And I cannot help but daydream over this life my husband and I get to raise.
… and then, there are the breakdowns. Nothing can quite prepare you for the exhaustion of motherhood. It is all-consuming, and the hormones are a whooooole lotta crazy. Which means one minute I feel like SUPERmom as I manage to nurse my baby while putting on blush (because, ya know, my newborn knows when I look pretty). And the next minute, I’m in tears over the thought I am already ruining my child over something ridiculous like a leaking diaper or cussing out loud. How soon can children repeat what they hear?! Because when it’s 5pm and you haven’t brushed your teeth yet, you start to feel insane.
My mama skills are imperfect. But here’s what I’m learning so far…
ACCEPT HELP. Truly, it takes a village. The first week as a new mama I stubbornly wanted my baby all to myself. The mama bear in me was protective, and I wasn’t ready to share this person who had once been all mine. But as the days went on, I learned to accept help. From my husband, my mom, my mama-in-law, my sisters… the list goes on. I’m a better mom when I rest and recharge, and I can only do that if I allow others to help me.
GIVE UP THE EXPECTATIONS. Pre-baby, I had this expectation of what life would look like after baby. Stroller walks in our neighborhood. A calm kiddo who never cries. Morning naps together before making waffles. But nothing with a newborn is predictable (and let’s be real, I wasn’t even making waffles before my baby arrived). But I’ve learned when I let go of the expectations, the reality of it all is actually a lot more beautiful. Motherhood is unexpected and imperfect, and that’s what makes it our own.
STEAL SOLO TIME. I have always needed my alone time, but a newborn isn’t exactly on board with that. Sometimes I’m falling asleep with dried spit-up in my hair (super sexy, I know) because I haven’t showered in a few days. BUT, I am learning how to steal my solo time. I’ll write while the baby naps. Or go for a walk while my hubby takes Evan. Or, admittedly binge-watch mindless shows on Netflix. Even a solo trip to Whole Foods feels exhilarating. Bottom line: a little time off makes me a happier mama.
LOVE YOUR PARTNER. I am really obsessed with my husband… (I meannnn, he’s such a hottie of a baby daddy). And I went into motherhood knowing I wanted to keep that obsession a priority. Of course, our relationship is different now. But we consciously keep us a priority. We still have our morning coffee together. We still carve out date nights. We still daydream over the life we want to build. I’m a believer in being a partner first, which inevitably makes me a better parent.
Here’s to a lifetime of new lessons…