As Jagger and I were walking to a play date the other day we noticed a tiny little baby in his stroller in front of us. Jagger started to tell me he wants to babysit him (he’s obsessed with babies) and the mom turns around to smile at us. I looked at her and said- “wow it goes so fast, but you’re probably feeling it’s not fast enough” half joking half not. She looked up with what seemed like hope and understanding in her eyes and said ” I just need him to start talking and tell me why he’s crying all day” and it hit me like a brick. She was struggling, just like I was when I had Jagger and she felt all alone. Being the person I am, I immediately opened up to her while pushing our kids along and shared how I had postpartum, and new babies are so exhausting and how I write a blog about parenting because no one talks about hard it really is. She seemed so relieved to hear that what she was feeling was not only ok but 100% normal.
I often forget how far I’ve come as a mother and how incredibly difficult it is when you suddenly become one. You spend 9 months growing this little human and feel so connected to them in utero. Then suddenly out they come and you look at this person and think – who the hell are you? Why are you crying and how am I responsible for you?! Your entire existence is consumed by a 7lb baby that you need to feed, dress, burp, swaddle and entertain all freakin day. It’s overwhelming, it’s amazing, it’s confusing, it’s exhausting and it’s demanding, and you are made to feel guilty if you’re not loving every second of it. I remember it used to take me HOURS to simply get out the door with all the crap babies need, myself dressed and Jagger in his stroller for the first few months of motherhood. Babies require so much stuff, it’s almost impossible to get out smoothly. I will never forget one day I was at my mom’s support group (which I highly recommend to all new moms) and I somehow forgot Jagger’s bottle with his formula. Jagger was freaking out for food and I totally panicked. I was dripping in sweat rummaging through my bag, so angry at myself for forgetting it. Friends offered their bottles but I was so upset I declined and decided to take Jagger to the bathroom and try to breast feed him. It had been WEEKS since I last had milk so it was as basically good as Shai breastfeeding him! I was just so stressed and overwhelmed and felt like he would implode if he wasn’t fed at that second. The 2nd time around mom in me would have grabbed someone else’s breast milk and shoved that down my kid’s throat (kidding-ish).
I used to look at moms with older kids so envious that they could take them to lunch, on vacations or even the supermarket without the child having a nervous breakdown. I so longed for that and to be honest, it’s a hell of a lot easier now than it was years ago. BABIES ARE HARD! When you’re in the thick of it you start to wonder if you will ever get out of your leggings, get a blowout again or have a meal where you actually get to eat, and the answer is YES! And while I wish I was in the moment a little more when they were little, I’m being honest when I say I enjoy it way more now. My kids are my best friends and we have so much fun together-when they’re not mid meltdown about a snack, a treat or toy, We’re like totally BFF and it’s awesome. I always say once kids are 3 you’re out of the red and life starts to get a lot easier. This is also the reason I feel so torn about having a 3rd. I am finally starting to feel like a semi human being and I kind of can’t imagine starting over. So the new moms reading this blog for some insight, I just want to tell you that there is light. It may be really dim and seem so so far away but it’s there and you just need to get through each day at a time. Here are 5 little tips I’ve learned along the way and I’m hoping some of you new moms can take them with you 🙂
1- Find 1 or 2 amazing girls with kids the same age that you can veg with all day with your babies. There’s nothing better than sitting in sweats with a good friend, eating crap and bitching about your life.
2- Don’t correct the little things your husbands do or they will never want to help you. If they put the diaper on backward and it’s literally up your babies ass, praise the shit out of them for doing it and fix it when they leave the room.
3- Take all the help you can get. Whether it be your mother in law, a friend or your doorman. If someone’s willing to help you and give you even 5 minutes of peace TAKE IT!
4- Don’t feel guilty if you need a little break from your babies. Get a manicure, go shopping or take a workout class. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your baby. You can’t be a good mother if you’re not in a good head space.
5- Don’t beat yourself up for feeling defeated, mothering is no joke and we can’t be perfect all the time.
The lesson here is that being a mom is so fuckin scary and you constantly feel like you’re failing along the way. We just need to remember that “we are doing the best we can at any given time, and that’s all we can do” -My therapist Donna…Let me know if you need one;)