I recently visited a new mom. I really love doing this now that Olson is 6 months old. I feel like I am in a position now to empathize, and yet encourage them that it does get better.
For the first three weeks of Olson’s life I wanted to throw up. I had a lot of anxiety. Although we had people bringing us meals, were so supported, and had plenty of diapers- I was full of anxiety. I was told that I should cherish this new born phase because I would look back when Olson is older and wonder where time went. I would miss him being so tiny.
Yikes, I have a confession.
I am so glad that Olson is not a newborn anymore.
This new mom that I spent time with greeted me at the driveway in short shorts and an adorable slouchy sweater that was cropped and showed her perfectly tight tummy. We walked into her house and I immediately smelled HOME MADE COOKIES. From scratch ya’ll. Not from a package.
“The laundry can wait.”
“I’ve been in my PJs all day.”
“I should be washing dishes, but instead I’m snuggling.”
Mommas like to make the new born phase seem quite glam. Or at least, gloriously messy. The image of a mom in her cute sweats, sipping coffee reading poetry to her tiny newborn. Well, good for whoever that mom is.
“Okay, you look amazing. And your house is so clean. And seriously, with the cookies??” Me and the pretty new momma laughed. You would never know she had a 5 week old. This was not a momma who enjoyed laying around in her PJs waiting for her newborn to wake up so she could instagram pictures of her messy hair and his milk-drunken smile. This was a momma who was trying to maintain her life. Maintain what made her feel good about herself. Maintain her health. Maintain her sanity.
I felt so proud for her. She was exhausted. She was ready to sleep again. Ready to be healed. The new born phase is oh so sweet. There is nothing like it, but oh how refreshing it was to be around a new mom and get real about the beginnings stages of motherhood. It’s hard to enjoy every moment when you can’t think straight. And it’s hard to relax when there are dirty dishes all over the counter. It’s not so easy to enjoy your pajamas when you have belly flab like the Grinch hanging over your sweatpants.
It’s not so much cuddling as it is hoping they won’t start crying for no apparent reason. It’s not so much postponing cleaning as it is feeling imprisoned in your living room. It’s not so much sleeping in as it having a hangover from sleeping 2 1/2 hour intervals through the night. And I had an easy baby!
It’s the tiny little moments that pull you through. Those itty bitty fingers wrapping around yours. Staring at every feature of their face while nursing. Baby toes kicking during a diaper change. Hearing those first coos and sighs. Oh my, the first smile!! Rips your heart right out of you.
It’s a walk in the park, just with pajamas on and the constant feeling of having a panic attack.
And any mom would do it all over again.
I would absolutely do it all again, like 50 times.
Pictures taken by Allison