Thursday, May 6, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Open Letter to New Moms

Dear New Mommy,

It's going to be okay, I promise. Now go on, sit back, grab a cup of coffee or tea. Heck, some wine, even! And sit down to read this. Yes, that means you, too, nursing mothers. A small sip of caffeine or wine will not hurt your baby. Take it from me. Pumping and dumping is awful, breastmilk is like liquid gold, and you won't want to pour it out, so don't fret. It will be OK.
First I want to say how PROUD I am of you. You're a mother! Imagine that. I mean, look at that child you hold in your arms, and think of how you will raise him or her [using the female moving forward as I'm a mom of a daughter!] over the coming years and just KNOW that they belong to you.

Ah, yes, nobody wants to think of their child as a possession, but sometimes you look at them and think to yourself, she's mine. She'll always be mine. And you can't help but remind yourself that you will always belong to her, as well. Even if she doesn't know it yet!

Please remember that the bond you're not sure you're feeling yet will come. It will. Even when you're tearing your hair out, covering your ears and have tears flowing down your face, remind yourself that it will happen. You're not the only one looking at their new baby and thinking, Oh, G-d, what have we done!?!

And for those of you who feel that connection instantly, it's amazing, isn't it? To just know. Swear that you know? And yet, please, I ask of you, do not judge. For what comes easily for you may not for some, and what you are having difficulties with in these early days may be a drop in the hat for the one you're judging, ya know? We're all in this together.

New mommy, please know that the baby blues don't last forever, and if you're feeling them for what seems like too long, or if family and friends sound well-meaning and you just want to scream at them to get the hell out of your way and take your baby with them, please seek help. Speak to someone. It's perfectly alright to reach out. Don't let your life and these early days with your little one slip away. Ask your husband, partner, mother ... ask them if you sound like you. Promise them you won't get mad, and then cry when you do, because it's okay. It will all be okay.

Put aside all of those parenting books. Some will be right, some will be wrong, and some won't make a lick of sense, seriously. Join a mommy board. A playgroup. Yes, a playgroup, even when your baby does nothing but sit in a carseat. Because playgroups at that age are for YOU, momma. Not your baby! Pick up the ones that make you laugh, remind you you're not alone. If you need some titles, ask me, I've read them all. I won't post them here as this isn't an advertisement, it's an open and honest me, pouring out some of my heart to you.

And to the "older" moms, the veterans out there, let us not forget where we, ourselves have been. When you see the mom with the diaper bag, screaming baby and cart of groceries, offer to help her bring the cart to her car. Unpack her cart for her while she settles her baby into the seat. Offer her a knowing smile, instead of the pity so many non-moms may be giving her with their eyes. She needs to know she's not alone. And someday she, herself, will be able to pay it forward. Even if right now it doesn't feel like it'll ever happen. It will, New Mommy. Trust me. I have been where you are. And now I have a 3-year-old daughter who is the light of my life, the pain in my behind, and a little bit of everything that comes with both of those. And I look back and say, wow, we made it. I survived. A little assistance here and there, a circle of supporters to listen when I needed them, and still do, and the strength to persevere. You will make it through this, too.

Happy Mother's Day.

This has been a post in conjunction with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop


  1. Absolutely positively beautiful!!! You couldn't have said it better. And for you (coming from a mom of a 9 year old daughter) buckle up. the ride is just on the upward climb for you. :) It's fun and scary all at once but worth every minute. XOXO

  2. So cute... you went with sweet, and I went with snarky!

    Stopping from Kat's

  3. this is lovely. (i type one handed, nursing my babe, and second you on the wine and coffee:)

  4. This was lovely :) I'm going to bookmark is so I can refer back once my baby arrives!

  5. Perfectly and eloquently said.


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