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Being a Mama is Hard

September 8, 2014

It is true that women have been birthing and raising children for quite some time now.  This fact does not however mean that this natural happening comes naturally to all of us. As this is the summer of ten eleven pregnant friends, I wanted to share a little of what I know.  Or what I know so far – I’m still learning!

Wisdom (?) for the beginning part:

Sleep when the baby sleeps.  This is not a joke.

Store brand diapers are great.  Store brand garbage bags, not so much.

Almost anyone can make a meal, do laundry, or run an errand.  Let them.

Every baby is different.  I thought this was a weird lie the What to Expect people made up. I was wrong.  When Lima Bean was born she was very tiny and cold and wanted to be held and snuggled while she slept.  She was an excellent nurser and a  generally happy baby.

When Ladybug was born we had so much trouble getting started.  She wouldn’t latch, wouldn’t sleep, cried and was generally miserable.  We took turns rocking and singing.  By the second week, I had an infection, no sleep, and no clues.  How was this even possible?  I’d done this before.  I’d babysat dozens of children who just needed clean diapers, a full belly, and a song to be happy.

Finally, I just prayed.  “God.  I just need to go to the bathroom.  Just let her stop crying for five minutes so I can do that.”  I set her in the, as yet unused, crib. Ladybug looked right up at me.  Her whole body relaxed completely and she went to sleep.  Every baby is different.

Ask for help. Find parents you like whose children you like.  Put them on your support team.  Watch and learn from them.  Get advice.

Get advice, but trust yourself. You know your baby better than anyone.  If you feel like something is not right, speak up.

Being a mama is hard!* Not every mama loves their baby at first sight or even three hundredth sight.  Children are HUGE wavemakers disrupting routines, plans, and goals. Ride the wave.  Cry when you need to. Ask for help when you need to. Take breaks. Be gentle with yourself. When you show up the next day and your kid looks like this, dance with them.

dancing

Don’t forget to eat.

Keep showing up. This advice will get you through parenting, 5K training, or even medical school.  There are (still) days when I am convinced I am terrible at this.  And then I cry a little, eat a snack, shuttle smallish bears to the next stop, make dinner, do the laundry, help with homework, ask for help, take a break, take a nap, and show up again the next day.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  So far, it’s been enough.**

*I know being a papa is hard too, I’ve just never been one so it’s hard to write from that perspective.  I’m pretty sure these things work for them too.

**Also, get a second pair of kitchen tongs.  I have no idea why it helps, it just does.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Charlotte McDonnell permalink
    September 9, 2014 2:45 am

    Thanks for this. Guess what…!

  2. brixton permalink
    September 9, 2014 8:03 am

    I only have one set of tongs!!!

    • September 9, 2014 9:52 am

      I’ll add some to your package.

      • brixton permalink
        September 9, 2014 9:53 am

        Excellent! I won’t add them to the registry then. 🙂

  3. September 9, 2014 9:30 am

    I only have one pair of tongs!

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