Dear Postpartum Self-
First, grab yourself some tissues it’s going to be an emotional roller coaster. In fact, just buy the Costco pack of Kleenex, you know the 24 pack. Reality is, you’re going to need them. You thought you were hormonal when you were pregnant. Oh, you’re in for a real treat. You’re going to cry all the time, like you have been for the past nine months, only this time you’ll have the sweetest baby you’ve ever seen. Which will make you cry that much harder because you’re so happy, worried and tired all in one.
Some days will be better than others, that’s okay. There will be days and nights where you just cry because you’re tired or for really no reason at all. Just roll with it and let those tears flow, you’ll feel much better after. When you’re frustrated don’t beat yourself up, that doesn’t make you a bad mom. In fact it makes you a mom, a completely normal one at that. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, I know, I know you’re stubborn. Remember I am you 😉 But buck up and lean on those around you. This entire journey, especially the first month is a whirlwind. Emotions after emotions of happy, sad, tired, so excited, in love, etc. etc.
Sometimes you’re just going to want to set her down for a couple of minutes or let Daddy hold her–that’s okay. There’s not one thing wrong with you for not wanting to hold her every second of the day. I know you secretly want to, but sometimes you’re going to need just two minutes to take a shower or eat. Don’t be afraid to take that you time, it will only help in the scheme of things. Which leads me to my next point, you’re not going to be able to handle everything and quit feeling like you have to be able to. You don’t. You’re not a super hero. It’s normal to have bad days, it’s normal to have super happy days, but you don’t have to bear the weight of the world on your shoulders. You can pass some of that weight off, hand out a rock or two 😉
Here’s a tip for you, keep an extra breast pad and burp cloth by your bed. You’ll need them both. The breast pad for when you lose one in the middle of the night and realize you’ve leaked everywhere. And the burp cloth for all the spills, spit up and leakage that WILL happen. One more thing, take the moments when she’s sleeping and relax, work or do whatever you can’t do while she’s awake. Those little moments are your chance for you time and don’t feel guilty about it at all.
Most of all, enjoy these times. Enjoy every second of everyday. I’m not kidding. Enjoy putting the dishes away. Enjoy trying to rock your sweet girl to sleep when all she wants to do it stay wide awake at 2am. Remind yourself of the ultimate highs, you know the time where she smiled in her sleep at just the right time or the moment she stares into your eyes and you know she knows that you’re her Mom. Remember these ultimate moments when things are rough, but more importantly try to enjoy the rough parts too. I know, I know yeah right! But I’m totally serious, you’re never going to get these moments back and one day when she’s graduating high school you’re going to long for the days that she was crying all night, if that meant you could have your baby back. In fact just thinking of that brings tears to my eyes.
You’re strong. You’re stronger than you give yourself credit that’s for sure. Don’t set yourself up for failure, don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect or something you’re not. Take each day at a time and enjoy this new journey. Being a Mom is the best thing that’s ever happened to you. Remember that she loves you so much even when you feel like a giant milk machine. You’re her world even if it may not seem like it somedays. She just needs more snuggles and love sometimes and well I know you’re not complaining about that! Take deep breaths and cuddle her as much as you can now before she starts to get too wiggly 😉
Most of all, remember that you’re loved more than you can ever imagine, just like you love her more than you ever thought possible.
Your Postpartum self
PS. Read this often.
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