Posted by Fitz

This article is for all of the brand new moms who are feeling like they have no idea of what they are doing.  It’s for the moms who are waiting desperately for nap time, who fear that they can’t handle another minute of a newborn’s cries, or who are wincing at the thought of trying to nurse – yet again – through searing pain and a weakening resolve.

Things will get better.

It’s hard to hear this when you’re in the middle of the chaos that is new life, because you don’t believe the people who are telling you.  I was convinced that there was something wrong with me when everyone told me that things would get better “soon”.  What the heck does soon mean, and when the [insert long string of unladylike expletives here] will it get here?  I heard a variety of answers, from six weeks to 16 years, but I never actually thought that my situation would change.  So I’d paste a smile on my haggard face, throw my shoulders back as if my posture could convey a confidence that I didn’t feel, and thank the person for their words of wisdom.

This is one case in which I was very glad to be wrong.  Things did get better.  For our family, it took about three and a half months before the three of us came to an understanding.  The Bean was diagnosed with reflux and treated accordingly, which made our home atmosphere much more predictable and pleasant.  She started sleeping more, which means we slept more.  I stopped nursing and tried to make peace with that decision, after several weeks of flogging myself for being a complete failure.  Lo and behold, when we all settled in, things felt…better.  And we found peace in that.

Now, better isn’t utopia.  We still have plenty of chaotic moments – like The Bean’s recent teething episode that is still keeping us awake at night – but we are more confident in our parenting.  We find ourselves giving our friends the advice that we didn’t believe, knowing they probably need to hear it although they won’t believe us, either.  We thank goodness for every minute with our Bean, and we feel that gratefulness now rather than mention it as a knee-jerk reflex.

Moms, you are doing a great job.  Your baby loves you.  You will figure it all out.  And, while you might not see it now, things will get better.  Just push through, love your baby, love your husband, and love yourself.  It will all come together, soon.  I promise.

Advertisements