Dear new Mama,
It’s early in the morning, and your littlest darling is finally sleeping beside you. You’ve spent another evening pacing the halls, patting, shushing and willing sleep to come and bless your home. Your body is a whole new level of tired you never knew existed, but at the same time, you don’t think you’ve ever loved someone you’ve only just met so, so much. I see you, and I’m here to let you in on a handful of little truths about these early days of parenthood. I’m here to reassure you and let you know it’s going to be OK.
1. Sleep will come to you, eventually
Right now your life is preoccupied with sleep like it’s the world’s most precious commodity, and every thought you have is consumed by it – but things will get better. I know it seems so far away right now, but I promise you – sooner or later, sleep will win. Your body (and mind) will adjust and relax, and the longest, sleep-deprived days will lessen and lessen.
2. You’ll fall in love with the nappy brand
Throughout these early days, things that make life even a little bit easier are the things that will help pull you through. A nappy brand that does its job and actually contains poo (rather than spread it up to your little one’s back and onto your clothing) will be one less thing you have to think about, and will free up time for other important things – like falling in love with your littlest creation.
3. Your baby can read your mind (and sense your emotions)
I know it seems crazy to think that your littlest darling can sense the way you’re feeling, but it’s true! Trust me when I say that babies have this innate ability to mirror your mood and emotions. If you’re feeling frazzled and upset, your baby is going to feel the same way and might even take longer to settle. And as frustrating as it is – your baby is actually pre-programmed not to sleep even though you desperately want them to. So really, the best thing you can do is breathe deep and stay as zen as possible.
4. The fourth trimester is a real thing, so go gently
One of the most soothing things for a little one who hasn’t been earthside for very long is a connection with how things were before they were born. I’m talking about skin-on-skin, white noise, movement and water. Your little one has just spent nine months inside you, so remember to allow both of you the gentle buffer of the fourth trimester as you adjust to this new way of life. Gently, slowly and with lots and lots of self-compassion.
5. You are both learning on this journey, together
Remember, you’re both new to this and it’s going to take time to find your way. It’s perfectly OK to spend your days staring at your brand new baby, and it’s also perfectly OK to feel as though you have no idea what you’re doing. I remember feeling very similar, and I can assure you that if you trust in the journey, it’ll all work out just fine. Surround yourself with the people who build you up and love you, and don’t be afraid to ask for (and accept) help. You are enough.
I know it sounds trite, but these days really are fleeting. There is no such thing as cuddling your baby too much, holding him too much or spending too much time gazing at him. There really is no rule book for motherhood, but I know you’ll find your way in your own time. But surrendering to sleep, finding that faithful nappy brand, keeping zen, embracing the fourth trimester and learning together really does make all the difference in the early days.
I know you’ve got this.
a Mama who has been there.