Notes to a New Mom

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as i was sitting and feeding my daughter her first donut earlier this week (as evidenced on instagram), i had the realization that i am in a much different spot than i was a year ago. thank goodness.

as i said in that post, i wasn’t completely sold on this whole ‘motherhood’ thing at first. turns out postpartum depression can really throw you for a loop.

i decided to make a list of all the things i wish i could have told myself a year ago. i also hope this list finds its way in front of a new mom’s eyes and she feels less crazy and alone!

notes to a new mom

  • those first few weeks are especially hard but you will readjust and get to a more stable place.
  • remember that nobody knows what they are doing at first either.
  • breastfeeding is hard and try as you might, it may cause more harm (mentally) than good in some cases,
  • don’t be afraid to reach out, you don’t need to suffer alone.
  • your husband may not get it at first but give him the benefit of the doubt and find someone who does.
  • if you continuously find yourself crying more than laughing, seek out professional help. you are not weak or abnormal, hormones are powerful things and sometimes we need help getting things back in order.
  • don’t dwell on the fact that you have 18 more years (roughly) before this human leaves the nest. focus on the next 30 seconds.
  • not everyone is a baby person. that’s okay.
  • it’s okay if you find yourself wanting time to pass quicker during the harder days.
  • you don’t have to listen when people say “enjoy ever minute, it goes by quick!” not every moment is enjoyable.
  • do take photos and do be in photos, even if you aren’t feeling it. you may want them later on, if only to remember how strong you were in those hard days.
  • it’s perfectly fine to put on noise-cancelling headphones while rocking a crying baby.
  • it’s perfectly fine to set your baby down in the bassinet if you are feeling overwhelmed and take care of your own sanity for a few minutes.
  • breathe fresh air.
  • move your body.
  • ask for help.
  • it’s perfectly fine to ask people to do the dishes or make you food while you hold your own baby.
  • it’s perfectly fine to ask people to hold your baby so you can do something else too.
  • get out of the house, without your baby. take a walk, get a latte, sit in the sunshine.
  • your spouse is experiencing a whole new world too. remember to check in on your partner.
  • you will sleep again and then everything else feels slightly easier.
  • after the baby gets to be a few months older, it’s absolutely incredible how quickly they grow, learn and experience the world.
  • motherhood can be isolating. this may require you to do uncomfortable things like talk to the other mom at the park or sign up for a mom/baby group. it will eventually be worth it.
  • hang in there.
  • you are a stronger than you know and there is always light to be found.

 

what else would you add to this list?

14 Comments

  1. Jennifer Haston

    October 25, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Such a good post! Yes!!! to all of it.

    I may do a similar list-
    I would add=
    You will have less energy which is normal. I remember when
    my Mother of Choice came to town and we got out of the house and set out
    to run 20 errands I wanted to run. She said, « Are you sure? » I said, « of course! I am free, no baby attached to me, so I can get so much done »I got through 3 and crashed into the metaphorical wall. It taught me a lot about self-care and asking for help.

    Thanks for being real, Chelsea!
    It gives the rest of us permission to do the same!

    • chelsea

      October 31, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      you are soooo right about that less energy thing! SUCH a great things to remind moms of and that we have to ask for help and take care of us! appreciate your comment jennifer and i’m glad it’s given you permission to be real too 🙂 that makes me happy and i appreciate your realness too

  2. Audrey

    October 25, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I think that these thoughts would be incredibly helpful for a new mom (or dad, even). Being so transparent about your struggles with early motherhood has definitely helped many people, Chelsea. It sucks that you and so many go through it, but it’s much better to come through to the other side with people guiding you and encouraging you. Way to go!

    • chelsea

      October 31, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      oh audrey! you’re the best. thank you for always reading/commenting on my ‘baby-everything’ posts even though you don’t have a baby of your own. i really appreciate that 🙂 you really help encourage me through your comments so thank you lady!

  3. Lisa

    October 25, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    I love this! I think the advice “enjoy every minute!” is awful. I mean, not every minute as a mom to a new baby or toddler or any kid is enjoyable and why would we want to guilt moms for feeling like they just want the day to pass a little quicker?!

    • chelsea

      October 31, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      uuuuugh right!!! you are totally right that we don’t need that extra layer of mom guilt for feeling like we truly cannot (nor should not) enjoy each and every moment! thank you lisa and i 100% agree!

  4. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    October 28, 2017 at 1:19 am

    Such a great list. I always tell my new mom friends (even when they say everything is perfect) that it’s hard but it does get so much better. How great is this age though?! Like I’m seriously obsessed with how fun it is. I just need to be able to birth a toddler next time…

    • chelsea

      October 31, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      i am so glad you tell them that courtney! a few people said that to me and i cannot tell you how much i appreciated hearing it! this age is A LOT more fun than newborn. yeah – how do we birth not a newborn but also not the size of a toddler? hah

  5. Sheila Cameron

    October 29, 2017 at 12:37 am

    In Canada, we are super fortunate to have a full year of maternity leave. I remember someone saying to me, “Aren’t you glad to be off work?” and even though I had a physically strenuous job, I was thinking, “No. I would definitely rather be at work. This is way friggin harder.” (but afraid to say it for fear of being judged a terrible mother/person). Looking back now, I do wish I could do it over again with the perspective I have now, but that is how I felt at the time. It’s good for new parents to know they are not alone in their feelings, and that there is hope that things do get better.

    • chelsea

      October 31, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      thank you for sharing that insight, sheila! i absolutely agree (though none of my jobs have ever been particularly physically strenuous) that being at home with a baby, especially a newborn is SO FREAKING HARD. it’s hard to say those things especially when it can feel so taboo in our society (even though so many people feel the exact same way). appreciate your comment

  6. Elyse @ Just Murrayed

    October 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    This list brought me to tears! I will definitely be printing this off in April when I know I will need it!

    • chelsea

      October 31, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      oh please do elyse! you will be an amazing mother to your sweet babe and it’s so important to remember all of these things!

  7. chelsea jacobs

    October 30, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Oh I wish I could make every new mom read this.

    • chelsea

      October 31, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      i wish i would have had it too and plastered it to my eyelids!

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