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
May 11, 2016 at 2:19 pm
Beautiful written Alyssa! I cannot wait to hold my little man and experience all of the good and bad of being a new mom! Olson is adorable! Proud of you mama!
May 11, 2016 at 3:52 pm
Oh man! It’s truly better than you can even express. So excited for you Rachel!! Thanks for reading 🙂
May 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm
I loved this. Very sweet. I really liked what you said about your friend doing what she needed to do to maintain her life. That is such a hard thing to figure out! There are so many little things ( and giant things!) that are changed by bringing a baby into your life and it’s hard to reconnect with the” you” you knew before the baby and become the new you with a baby! Does that make sense? Anyway! I love your blog! Thanks for sharing!
May 11, 2016 at 3:51 pm
That has probably been the hardest thing for me! You know you won’t sleep much and that the house will be a mess. But I didn’t expect that I’d sort of lose myself in there somewhere. Thanks so much for reading!!
May 11, 2016 at 3:11 pm
Your baby is too much to handle. Adorable! Great post 🙂
May 11, 2016 at 9:34 pm
Why thanks love!! He gets it from his Auntie 😉
May 11, 2016 at 8:29 pm
Haha! I loved the part about feeling imprisoned to your living room. Zack will come back from an errand over an hour later and I’m in the exact same spot. Also agree majorly about its not so much sleeping in…AT ALL!!!! great post girrrrrrl
May 11, 2016 at 9:33 pm
Thanks for reading Ellen!! That wrap is headed your way and hopefully you’ll feel like you can actually get up and around. 😉
May 12, 2016 at 1:48 am
Definitely felt that “lost yourself feeling”….it got somewhat better after ~6 months…I don’t know if I’ll ever completely lose it though. You change profoundly when you become a mother. You are an amazing lady and mommy, Alyssa!
May 12, 2016 at 1:52 am
I remember begging Joel to just let me wade through all my thoughts and feelings so I could make some sense of it all. It just felt so weighty- all the stress and newness. Thank goodness for good husbands. Love you Mo and your words mean the world to me!!
May 12, 2016 at 2:19 am
I feel like I spend most of my days having the following conversation with myself: “What precious gifts I’ve been given. All I want to do is take a 20 minute nap!!! (but I can’t). Breathe.Enjoy this time…soak it in.Soak…yes, I would love to soak in a bath without a 2 1/2 year old, 1 year old, and dog trying to get in with me.It’s going by so fast.I can’t wait until they’re a little more independent. Yes, I CAN wait!…Wait, WAIT – do not eat that, Jude! Have I eaten today?I miss my paycheck.I wouldn’t trade this time for anything! I need a drink!”
May 12, 2016 at 2:32 am
Amy that is HYSTERICAL. Haha!!! I am giggling like crazy. Shoo, I may be calling you up when my one baby becomes two babies plus a pet. I can’t even fathom!