Trust in yourself. You got this.
A close friend recently had her first child. I called her to say congratulations and could hear how overwhelmed she was in her voice. I heard the baby cry in the background. The beautiful newborn baby cry, that you only think is beautiful after your children have grown up. I felt her distracted and told her I’d speak to her later.
I’ve been texting here and there to check in. Her texts lead me to believe she is struggling similar to any new mother. She’s not surviving on much sleep. Her baby was born slightly early and is tiny. She’s struggling with nursing him. She texted that she didn’t know how the rest of us did it.
My response to this was as follows “I will not give you advice unless you ask me specifically what to do, but I will tell you that you got this. You will handle it. We did it because we had to and you will do the same. Trust in yourself. You’ll be okay.”
Trust in yourself, you’ll be okay.
The worry new mothers have is overwhelming. Is the baby eating enough? Did he poop today? I remember writing down whether my son ate, pooped or peed for the first couple weeks of his life. I didn’t trust myself to remember because I was so sleep deprived.
I also found that people love to give you advice. Baby crying? Oh give him water. Yes someone actually told me to give my newborn water. To this day, I am not sure if that was good advice. I didn’t use it. What I can say is that unless you specifically ask for advice, it should not be given. New moms need help more than anything else.
What can you help with?
Make some meals for the new parents. Send them groceries. If you live close by, offer to watch the baby while the mother takes a shower.
These are the things I wished people did for me. I also wish people didn’t take offense when you can’t stay on the phone or when you can’t respond to a text. Parents with newborns are zombies. Sleep deprivation really gets to you.
After speaking to my friend, I was reminded of all the feelings I had when I first had my son. What I remember most is that self doubt didn’t last. Moms learn that very quickly. You must trust in yourself and your decisions.
This is exactly what I wanted my friend to know.
Trust in yourself. You were made a mother for a reason.
To the new mother wearing pajamas with unwashed hair and a dirty house, you’ll be okay. You’re doing your best. When you are doubting yourself and having trouble making a decision, trust in yourself.
Reach out when you need help. Ask family or friends to cook for you. Order groceries if you need to. Don’t feel guilty.
Don’t worry about your weight. It will come off when it comes off. Switch your focus on what your body just did. You gave birth to a beautiful baby.
Don’t stress about formula or breast milk. Just do what you can do. If you have to do both, do both. If you opted to feed formula, then do that. If you want to exclusively breastfeed, then focus on that. Reach out when you need help. If you have to nurse and your house is full of visitors, excuse yourself, or ask them to leave the room. Don’t feel guilty.
Most of all, enjoy every single minute. It goes too fast. Just focus on being present. It gets easier when you’re less sleep deprived and when the baby starts smiling and interacting with you. It get easier. You will be okay.