Confidence comes with experience, time, and maturity, and I feel the same goes for finding your confidence in motherhood.
When I had my first child in 2019 I didn’t know what I was doing. I had never babysat babies before. I had only changed a few diapers. And, I had no idea what real sleep deprivation felt like. Sure, I read a few books, talked to friends with babies, and had that maternal instinct, but nothing could have truly prepared me for the challenges I would face as a first-time mom. I guess you could say I really got thrown right into it.
In the thick of being a first-time mom
Every cry from my baby set off an alarm in my nervous system. Naps and bedtime stressed me out more than they should. My breastfeeding journey was hard and overwhelming, and I was constantly comparing my experience with moms who could breastfeed “so easily” (not knowing their full stories). And, to add to it all, I was 3,000 miles away from my family.
When you’re in the thick of that newborn phase for the very first time, even with all the deep love and adoration you feel for your baby, you can still struggle with feeling extremely isolated. I often felt like I missed out on some truly magical moments because I was so wrapped up in the overwhelm of each and every baby need or new task.
The weeks and months moved slowly — and fast — and before I knew it, I was finding my stride as a mother (and I moved back home with much more local support). When you get to this place, you move with so much more ease and patience with yourself and your family. It truly feels like you step out of a fog.
The second time around
Fast forward two-a-half-years and baby #2 arrived. And, when I tell you that things were easier and more chill from the very minute I felt those contractions, I’m really not exaggerating.
I took my time to be in those moments. That made a real difference.
I took some breaths when we started our breastfeeding journey. We got there because I stayed patient.
I relaxed — and asked for help — and said no more — and laid around — and let the baby sleep on me whenever she wanted — and let myself feel every feeling — and reached out for therapy — and felt way, way, less pressure to do things right or on time.
I was the observer of my own life. It was unfolding before me like a beautiful movie, and I really wanted to see what happened next.
I knew those early days were going to be blurry, and also zoom by. I couldn’t miss the monotony of it again. Not this time.
To the first-time mom who’s in the thick of it
It gets easier, you will get sleep, and you aren’t failing in any way. This is hard. You’re doing everything right because you are your child’s everything. All they want and need is you.
If and when you have a second child, you may have this new perspective like me, that if you could just slow down a tad, you would see that it’s all just so simple:
Now, go, go be still and soak it in. That should be the only thing on your to-do list for a while.