This article is a guest post from Annie Rothe. “Annie Rothe, a Colorado-born, yoga-loving, Samoyed-owning mom to a 10-month-old little girl. Annie began blogging over at Simply Annie after having her daughter and becoming a SAHM. Between naps and play dates she loves arranging flowers, writing for her blog, and spending time with her husband and her tribe. You can connect with her more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”
Dear New Mom,
I see you standing in Target glowing with excitement and wonder. Looking at all the baby things, registry gun in hand. I see the smile on your face, but I also see the bewilderment and self-doubt. I see you asking yourself, is this the right brand of swaddler? Do I need this special pacifier? Do I buy organic diapers or is the cheaper kind okay? Do I buy the glass bottle or the plastic bottle? Which brand of wipes is right? How many burp cloths do I need?
You’re wondering if you can do this, if you’ll be a good mom. You’re filled with questions and concerns. Expectations of what you’re supposed to do and how it is supposed to happen.
I see your bewilderment… and I get it. How can you not be?
But let me tell you this: a diaper is a diaper and a wipe simply cleans poop. Swaddler could be your lifesaver or your baby could hate it. Your sweet little angel will somehow always miss the burp cloth and spit up will always manage to be on you.
You’ll do things differently than you thought you would. No matter what the situation is. You’ll parent differently than everyone you know. And that is not only acceptable, it’s a good thing.
None of it is predictable, so none of it is worth agonizing over.
I’m not going to lie to you, there are going to be some long days. Some days when you doubt yourself and everything you are doing. But that’s part of the journey. I’ve cried and you probably will too. There will be days that seem endless. You will make more Target runs than you can imagine. You will get pooped on, puked on, and peed on.
But you will forget all of that. You will slowly start to forget the multiple midnight feedings. You will find the perfect pacifier and bottle. You will find what works for you and your family. And you will love it.
You know what else? You don’t have to be what everyone says you need to be. You don’t have to put your baby on a routine. You don’t have to be overwhelmed. You don’t have to buy the organic diapers and wipes. You don’t have to do or feel anything except what comes naturally. Hopefully someone has written a book about the benefits your baby will receive by being raised by you and not who you think you should be.
I just wanted to tell you to breathe. You’re going to be great. I know you’re panicking, or at least worrying about what lies ahead. But becoming a mom is something we’ve done since the beginning of time, it’s what you’re wired for it, and you can do this. You know what’s best, just trust yourself.
You’re about to go on the most exhilarating ride of your life. Filled with wonder and joy. Anxiety and worry. You’ll feel every emotion under the sun, but it will all be worth it. Don’t worry about what you’re “supposed” to do. Don’t compare or set standards. Enjoy the ride, because it all goes far too fast… and you can never get it back.
A previous first-time mom.