Baby Mason has arrived which is why I haven’t posted in so long. She is over a month old now and was born on January 14th. Her name is Elizabeth Catherine and she is a beautiful tiny little lady. She has brought us a lot of joy as well as a large lack of sleep! I wish I could describe the feelings of becoming a mother but it is literally impossible. The best description I have heard is that it is like watching your heart and soul walk around outside of your body. She is obviously not walking yet, but you get the idea. There is a big piece of myself that I feel is completely out of my control, yet intricately aligned with the true meaning of existence and love.
While extraordinary rewarding, being a new parent is not always glamorous. I know this site is called “Positively Glamorous”, but I don’t want you to think my life is always perfect as that would not be authentic.
As an extreme multi-tasker and someone known to hold multiple jobs and internships at once while juggling a full course load at one point, I thought this would be like my previous experiences, challenging but very doable. Nope..not.. so much. The “It takes a village to raise a child” quote is absolute whole truth. While I thought it would be nice for my mom to come into town from Ohio to help me (which she did), and I thought it would be lovely if my mother-in-law came out at some point and cooked (which she did), it wasn’t just nice, it was absolutely amazing and necessary. To my friends who brought me food, and to my mom(s) the gratitude I feel towards you brings me to tears.
Future moms out there, please, line up help before you have your child, even if it is paid. Pack your freezer with meals beforehand. Those first few weeks it is absolutely essential you take care of yourself and have proper nutrition and some sort of rest so you can heal and take care of your baby. I had some help, and I had a relatively routine all natural birth and breastfeeding came to me naturally (all things I am extremely thankful for) yet I still felt very defeated at times with a case of the “baby blues.” There were tears, lots of them and wondering if it ever gets easier. Here is the “Positive” part, it does, which is why I had the time to write this today. To all my friends who don’t have kids, I didn’t just say all that to terrify you. Just about everyone else is going to simply tell you “They are worth it and being a parent is amazing” and it is. Just know during some of those darker times you are absolutely not alone.
Please keep in mind I’m not a parenting expert, I’m simply a new mom working my way on this adventure. Your way of parenting may be completely different and that is perfectly ok too!
Here are some of the ways we handled the first month.
- Accepted help from family and friends.
- Following our intuition from the birth process to parenthood, meaning we did things the way we felt were best for our family, not just what people were suggesting we do. Similarly to planning a wedding, everyone has an opinion or a suggestion, listen to it, then do what you and your partner feel is best.
- Getting outside. Part of the hardest part for me was the solitude the first month. Since it is Winter and flu season, our pediatrician strongly recommends that the baby goes out as little as possible especially the first 28 days. When family and friends weren’t around it got really lonely and cabin fever set in. On the days it was a bit warmer and we could take a walk in the sunshine, it did wonders for my mood.
- Practicing gratitude. There are so many moments of feeling completely overwhelmed that sometimes you forget how blessed you are to have a healthy, perfect, living, breathing tiny human that you made right in front of you. So many women would do anything to have the ability to be pregnant and give birth to their very own child. Never forget that you created a miracle. Thank all those that have helped you out during this time as well so they know how much it means to you.
- Snuggling. My favorite part of being a new mom is holding Elizabeth and breathing in that amazing newborn sent while snuggling with her.
- Not forgetting, “You are going to miss this.” As trying as these times can be when I get upset I try to remember the country song by Trace Adkins, You’re Gonna Miss This whether you are a country music fan or not, this is simply a season of your life and it is going to go by so fast. Enjoy these precious moments.
- Having a support network, even if it is a virtual one. Most of my friends or people I know that have children are in my home state. In order to keep in touch with them, I invited them to a parenting Facebook group my friend created, this has been a huge help for much needed advice on new motherhood adventures.
- Sleeping when the baby sleeps. Sleep is a basic human need that turns to gold when you have a child. Sleep when you can, but don’t count how many hours of actual sleep you got. It will just make you more upset.
- Taking time for two other very important relationships: the one with yourself and one with your spouse or partner. Do one thing each day for yourself, even if it is just a shower or reading a book you love for 5 minutes (right now I’m reading The Fringe Hours.) This will make you a better mom and partner.This powerful video explains this perfectly. Also, don’t forget, as overwhelmed as you are, your partner is as well. This is all new to both of you and the best thing you can do for each other is be encouraging. Take time to show affection to your partner and care for your relationship. The better your partnership, the easier it will make parenting a team effort.
I hope this information is helpful to you whether you are a new mom or your future child is just a twinkle in your eye. 🙂