In just a few days, I’ll reach the big week forty. It’s hard to believe that nine months ago, we only dreamed of maybe a baby. And now she’s almost here…and I think we’re ready.
I think we’re ready, and we’re excited.
But I’m also a little scared. I know motherhood isn’t glamorous and I know it isn’t easy. From here, the intimidated new mama in me clings to the belief that all of this—the discomfort, the pain, and the promise of a million loads of laundry, midnight diaper blowouts, all night rocking sessions and showerless weeks—all of the hardships and sacrifices, they will be worth it.
Everywhere I turn, someone looks at my ill fitting clothing and obvious baby bump and offers up a choice bit of wisdom from their own parenthood.
None of it sounds very good.
I’ll never sleep again. For the rest of my life.
I should forget about looking cute—the baby will have destroyed my body and will spit up and wet on anything remotely attractive I own so it isn’t worth the bother to try.
Babies are only cute when they are sleeping. The rest of the time they are little monsters who only want to eat and scream and demand things.
Prepare to never have a social life and to forget about any hobbies.
The terrible twos are going to make you go crazy and you’ll beg to send your kid to daycare!
Just wait until they are teens….then you will regret the day you had kids.
The list goes on and on. It’s all about the bad, the negative and what we’re about to loose the day our little girl is born. And maybe some of it or a lot of it is true.
But new mamas already know motherhood isn’t going to be easy.
I already know that there will be late nights, sleepless nights, colic and babies who cry and cry. I know about blowout diapers at the worst moment, and spit up on my favorite dress. I know I won’t have all the time I use to for the things I may have enjoyed. I know children whine and that chances are we might not get a moment to ourselves very often anymore.
I know motherhood and parenthood are harder than anything I can imagine. And I know I can’t do it all on my own.
But as a new mama, I think what I need most is to know that in the middle of the spit up, and the night feedings, and the crying and the mess, that motherhood is beautiful, too. I think we as new mamas need to know from those who have been where we are now that motherhood isn’t just drudgery and hardship and exhaustion, but that tucked into all that reality is a bit of good too.
What we need is for someone to tell us that motherhood is filled with precious moments.
That those first few weeks are hard, but that we will make it through and it will be okay.
That baby smiles and arms that reach up for you are always worth it—even at 3 am on a week that you haven’t showered even once yet or slept for more than 10 minutes at a time.
That rocking a little one to sleep is something precious never to be taken for granted.
That those firsts giggles are the most beautiful sound in the world.
That love grows and that being a mother is something that we won’t want to trade for anything else—not even our old jobs, old lives and tiny pre baby bodies.
We need to know, more than that motherhood is hard, that it is worth it and that we can do this.
So to the friend who told me that sleep as a new mama might be limited, but it is so much better than pregnancy sleep, and the woman who said that motherhood isn’t easy but it is the best thing she ever did, to the woman who said that even post baby bodies can be beautiful and the ones who always remind us how much we are going to love being parents even when it isn’t easy—thank you. Those are the gems that we hold onto as we step through the door into new parenthood.
As we prepare for our lives to change forever, it’s those encouraging, hopeful, positive words that make us look forward to the adventure.
And that’s what new mamas need—to know that motherhood is going to be beautifully worth it all.
I can’t wait to meet our little one. I can’t wait to experience holding her for the first time. I’m still a little scared about all the what ifs and the maybes of motherhood. But I am thankful for people who tell me that we can do this and it is going to be wonderful.