Dear New Mama, It Gets Better. I Promise.
Dear new mama,
I know you.
I was you.
It gets better. I promise.
I remember counting down the days for my son to turn three months old; everyone seemed to believe it was some sort of milestone when colic just magically disappears and maybe just maybe this little human will stop crying unconsolably. But he didn’t! They said he will develop a sleep routine by the time he is six months old (This one still cracks me up though), but he didn’t! They also said that when he turns one he will be more independent (I’m still laughing). But he didn’t! They promised that sometime during his second year he will be walking and talking and things will get so much easier. But they didn’t.
I’m not sure if veteran mothers have some sort of secret agreement to come up with pseudo milestones to gradually break the news to the new ones, but it sure seems like it. At some point in time, not so long ago, I thought it will never be over, I will never be her again. I thought I will forget her. She was fading away and I missed her. That woman I used to be before I was a mama. What was she like, really?! I look at that wedding picture in my living room everyday, and I barely recognize myself. The thought of more children shakes me to the very core. How? Why? When? Why (again)?
But it does get better- really it does! Sometime around the two year milestone things get better; Im not sure if they get easier but motherhood probably just grows on you and you get stronger! You will drink your coffee hot, yes you are sipping faster but it is hot. You will be eating proper grown up food again, yes you will not be sitting down for the meal and will simultaneously be feeding another human being, but you are eating fish fillet not fish fingers. You will shower without an audience, with good time management techniques and proper pre-planning and it’s a shower not a bathe! There will be nagging, climbing, crying..there will be tantrums, a first day of pre school, multiple requests to sing the same song over and over and over. But you will no longer be a rookie!
Shopping, remember that…you will be doing some of it (that doesn’t include three onesie packs). Moisturiser will become a thing in your life again. Gradually, you will remember and it will all come back to you and she will come back to life. The father of your child will also go back to being your husband, someone you share more things with than diaper-changing turns.
You will get your life back but believe me when I tell you that you will miss those days (at this point I’m assuming that’s why people have more children). You will miss learning so much and growing so fast, yes we grow with our children. Everyday there is something new and every time it’s your first time. But you manage, you always do! I now look back at this woman-the new mama- and she is my hero. In those two years I got so much stronger than I ever thought possible and yet so much softer than I ever were. I Learnt to be understanding, to be forgiving, more tolerant, more patient, to set an example, to do the right thing, to show emotion, to pray, to appreciate my blessings, to ask for help, to say no, to give, and to do almost everything with one hand, I learnt that and so much more…We all do.
If I could write a message to my two year younger self and send it over in a time capsule, I would tell myself to embrace those most precious moments and enjoy the real milestones; the first smile, the first mama, the first (of many to come) sleepless nights. I would tell myself to take it easy; teething will pass, diaper rashes don’t last forever, and fevers are only natural. I would tell myself to feel accomplished and to be proud of myself for surviving the hardest and most important job in the world everyday. I would tell myself that what I do makes the world a better place; at least for the one person I love the most.
Hang in there, it gets better!
Photo Credits: The Quintessentials Blog