I remember the day KJ was born like it was yesterday. My whole world changed in an instant — especially my thought process. I worried. I stressed. At times, I couldn’t sleep because my mind just wouldn’t shut off.
Now that my boys are 3 and 5, I can say a lot of those worries were for nothing. Some of them even make me laugh now. Here were some of my thoughts as a new mom.
“The baby is going to slip down the drain.” I remember being so afraid to give KJ a bath in the sink because he was so small. Obviously, I knew he couldn’t actually slip into the drain, but I was definitely way too nervous to bathe him as a newborn. I had to leave that task to my husband for the first few weeks. Good news was, Chris was really good at bathing KJ and didn’t get nervous at all. Thank God.
“I’m failing because I can’t tell the difference in the sound of his cries.” I remember fellow moms telling me, “Oh, you’ll know what he needs based on his cry. It will either be pain, hunger, tiredness or a dirty diaper.” And I felt like a complete failure when that didn’t click for me right away. It’s okay if you don’t know the difference between his sounds. Go through the process of elimination with his needs instead. I didn’t learn the difference between my boys’ cries until they became toddlers.
“Is my husband still attracted to me?” I was so hard on myself for my new appearance and my inability to snap back to my pre-pregnancy body within weeks of giving birth. I constantly worried about how my husband looked at me. I finally asked him one day if he was disappointed in my appearance, and he said “No way! You gave life to our son! And I think you are beautiful no matter what!” That definitely helped.
“If I ask for help, I’m admitting I am not a good mom.” Obviously, this isn’t true. I’ve always been pretty tough on myself, but in a lot of ways, that has pushed me to success. Not in this case, though. All it did for me as a new mom was make me feel worse. I had to learn to go easy on myself and my thoughts. No one is perfect. And most importantly, my baby felt loved and safe.
“I wish people with runny noses and coughs would stop telling me they just have allergies.” Yes, I know, some people do JUST HAVE ALLERGIES. But when you are a new mom to a tiny little baby, the last thing you want around your baby is a potentially sick person. We’ve got enough on our plate just trying to navigate these new mom waters. The last thing we need is a sick newborn.
“I have to drive super slow so the baby’s head doesn’t roll.” You should have seen me driving like a granny in Los Angeles when I had KJ and Bentley. I was so careful not to turn corners quickly and to drive at the speed limit, even though he was snug as a bug in a rug in his car seat. It makes me laugh now thinking of how strict I was with my driving (and my husband’s driving).
“Will I ever sleep through the night again?” Those first few months really had me doubting this one. But rest assured, your baby will eventually get into a groove where they DO sleep though the night. You just have to make it through those first weeks home.
“The baby is always sleeping but somehow I’m completely sleep deprived.” This could have been easily solved if I actually listened to my mom when she told me to sleep when the baby sleeps. I had a hard time doing that because I was constantly doing things around the house. But the most important thing after you give birth is your sanity. So if your dishes are dirty and the baby is napping, you lay down too. Those dishes can wait!
“Will my baby ever know just how much I love him?” It seems impossible to love such a tiny little person so very much. I hope and pray that my boys will see how much that I’ve sacrificed and done for them as they grow up. I don’t think I fully understood the love my mom has for me until I has kids of my own.
Whether your thoughts as a new mom are exciting and positive or nervous and anxiety-ridden, just know that you were chosen for EXACTLY this. It is your purpose to be a mom so try not to be so hard on yourself. For me, it didn’t do anything but stress me out. And my kids turned out great! Love those new babies — but be sure to love yourself too!