I was reading a post on Facebook in one of my favorite mom’s groups the other day, about all the things that no one ever told you about entering parenthood, childbirth and pregnancy. As I was scrolling through the hundreds of comments, I found myself overcome with emotion as I recollected those early days of motherhood.
As I’ve alluded to before, my transition to parenthood wasn’t the smooth sailing I anticipated, but more like a crash landing. I was overwhelmed by everything. While most first time parents should expect some of this, I seem to have taken it harder than most (or at least it felt that way).
I remembered how consuming it all was. How, although I was so excited about this beautiful little baby, I questioned whether we had made a mistake. That perhaps we weren’t really as ready as we thought and maybe we should have waited. I felt so insecure, so lonely, so uncertain.
And I know it’s not like this happens to everyone but I wondered if I would ever get to a place where everything didn’t feel quite so daunting. Where I felt like I had a handle on things. Where I felt like I wasn’t walking through a haze. Where I didn’t feel so desperately tired or as if I was losing my mind.
What do I wish I had heard in those early days? In those days where night and day ran together. What do I wish someone had said to me after I spent 12 continuous hours nursing a newborn after spending 72 sleepless hours in a hospital?
Mama, it will get better. It will be hard. It will be challenging but it will get better.
What do I wish I had heard after I found myself six weeks postpartum and still feeling the most intense anxiety regarding everything that was happening with my life and my baby?
That it might take time, and some counseling, and perhaps a little bit of medication but, mama, it and YOU are going to get better.
What do I wish someone had told me when it all felt so impossible? I wish they had told me that it might get really hard before it gets better, but here’s the deal, you will get through this and it will get better, mama.
At some point, It. Will. Get. Better. You will start to feel less alone. You will start to feel more in control. You will start to trust yourself and what you’re doing. You’ll learn to adjust, to adapt and it will get better. You’ll find your groove; your rhythm and it will get better. You’ll wake up every day and just keep going and it will get better. You’ll find all the love – for yourself and your tiny human – and it will get better.
So, if you are reading this and you are in the trenches and you are wondering if it will get better, I promise, it will. It will get so much, so much, better. The darkness does lift. The days get bright again. It gets better, mama.
Stay strong. Know I am sending you all the love. Know that it can be so hard in those early weeks and months. And, that no one can prepare you for any of this even if you read all the books, and you were told all the things. One day you will be sitting there and you will realize, “I got this”, and it will be better.
And don’t be fooled, there are certainly still surprises. Days when I feel like “why didn’t someone tell me about this?” or moments when I feel surprised by the challenges of parenthood (remember I’m still less than a year into this). But, with every challenge and with every day, I find that it keeps getting better.