Dear Brand New Mom,
Along with baby come a lot of new details you never imagined. How do you stay afloat among all of this minutiae when you have so many other things to do? Right now it might seem ungratifying and exhausting. I don’t think most moms get that they will be bedraggled plus have all this STUFF surrounding them…. burp cloths, diapers, feeding accessories, laundry, toys, disinfecting wipes, diaper bags, car seats, pacifiers… there are so many things that come with caring for an infant.
As you become accepting of your new chaos, another factor comes into play: REPETITION. There are tasks that need to be done incessantly. Verbs you used to have on a manageable checklist are now never really done: clean, put away, organize, tidy, buy, launder, wash, fold, feed, bathe, change, wake, rock, shush. And that’s just related to the newest member of the household. I remember thinking, “Didn’t I just do this?” and being on auto-pilot, trying to reach a finish line that doesn’t really exist. I’ve heard from many teachers, nannies, and daycare workers who had previously been around children as a career who are then surprised when they experience this with their own child 24/7.
These little things will not be the way it is forever, but they will get you to where you imagined yourself with a child down the road.
Imagine treading water… and if you can possibly do it, try to take each thing for what it represents in your life at the moment and see them as buoys instead of weights. It will not be this way forever. You will get yourself (your mind and body), and your physical space back. (The NEW you will be a mother; with some changes along the way. You won’t be the person you were last year, but improved!) You will soon have a little person to keep you company and keep you on your toes. And all that treading water will have made you that much stronger.
A Mom Who’s Been There
P.S. Feel free to imagine yourself treading water in the crystal blue waters of the Mexican Riviera if it helps!
About the Author
Jen Winckler is a Newborn PEPS leader in Snohomish County. She is a stay at home mom (aka. Volunteeraholic) to two boys, ages 11 and 9, and is still trying to navigate the constant curve balls that parenting dishes out. She used to dread the minivan driving soccer mom title, but has come to love watching her boys play their hearts out (and did sell the minivan as soon as they could open their own doors without banging the car in the next stall).