Dear New Mum

 

Dear New Mum (me a few years ago),

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This new mum thing has come as a shock to the system. I’m sorry nobody told you how hard it would be. You expected to feel “overwhelming love and pride” for the new bundle. All of your friends told you about the pure joy and bliss of those new born days. You just feel sleep deprived and emotionally unstable. I’m sorry there seemed to be a blackout of any “this new born stuff is tough” posts on Social Media and you were bombarded with “feeling blessed” posts when people had a baby.  You feel like an inadequate mother because you are too tired to feel blessed.

I’m sorry you’re not able to tell anyone how you’re feeling. You’re putting on a brave face and the mask isn’t slipping.  You’re worn out after the C section and you just want to rest but your son will Not. Stop. Crying. It’s painful every time you bend over the cot to pick him up and I’m sorry you feel guilty about wanting the nurses to take him from you for just an hour or two. Your mum talks about her early days in the maternity hospital as a relaxing experience. Your experience is not like your mothers.

You thought your son had golden skin and now you feel awful because it turns out he is Jaundiced. I see you’re upset because you didn’t know the difference between a blanket and a sheet and you wrapped him in the wrong thing. I could see the look the nurse gave you too. I heard you ask to switch him to the bottle because he constantly wants fed. I also heard the midwife list all of the reasons why you shouldn’t do this. I know you could have listed them yourself because you’ve read enough books on the subject. None of those books explained how difficult it would be though.

You didn’t realise every cry from your new baby would be like a dagger through your heart. You never envisaged just how sleep deprivation could make every little thing seem worse.  You feel hopeless because you’re having difficulty showering yourself or fetching breakfast. It’s a day after your C Section and I’m sorry that you think you are supposed to be doing those things. It’s ok to ask for help – you are not a failure.

I’m glad you’re getting home and I can see you’re both struggling to get the screaming baby in the car seat. I know you are panicking that you’ll have to walk the 20 miles, but you’ll all get home in the car. Eventually. Your husband will drive at 7 miles per hour, just to be on the safe side. You’ll laugh about all of this later.

You think you’re not cut out for this mothering stuff and I’m sorry you feel like this. After a while you’ll turn a corner. Yes, you’ll cry more than you ever have but you’ll also begin to feel the “overwhelming love and pride” that your friends were talking about. Life will change beyond your imagination, but it’ll be a good thing. You will realise that NOBODY is a perfect mother and we’re all just trying to do our best. Oh, and after those first few months in a sleep deprived trance, you will have a new appreciation of sleep. A shame really, because 7am is now a lie in.

Yours faithfully,

 

you years later (a bit more awake)

 

21 thoughts on “Dear New Mum

  1. Oh thank you!
    Facing this myself, and no idea what the heck I’m doing – what do I even need to purchase?! Or how on earth I’m going to do this. I really appreciate your honesty and compassion. Big hugs xx

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  2. Wow! This is exactly how I felt. I felt like I was reading something I had written. Thank you for being so honest about a time that everyone assumes will be a wonderful experience, but just isn’t for some. Made me feel much better about those first few months! xx

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  3. This is a great post. I’m a new mum (also trying to blog my experiences) and much as I love every minute, there are crazy moments of guilt, like when I may just want to have a bath… what will my baby think? Is he happy enough without me holding him still? Should I just have yet another quick shower and leave shaving the legs for another day, just so I’ve been with my son…? It’s mad what goes through a new mummy’s head. Thank you for making that guilt sound normal and probably unnecessary Xx

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    • Thanks you so much for your comments and sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Congratulations on your new baby. Oh it’s a precious time fraught with anxiety and sleep deprivation – but it just gets better and better (in my experience anyway). When I’ve some time I will pop over your blog for a look. Good luck with the blog and enjoy your little bundle. You’ll work out the showering thing in time. I just popped my son’s moses basket outside the shower where I could keep an eye on him. x

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  4. This is beautifully written and totally relatable. Kudos to you for remembering! I didn’t have a C section but aside from that I could have thought this was a letter to me! Thank you for reassuring me I’m not alone in these feelings. I’ve written an article on bottle feeding guilt because like you say here, even speaking 9 years ago, there totally isn’t enough out there to say it’s okay to not breastfeed if it’s killing you! X

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Oh yes, the breast feeding debate is highly charged. I felt like I wasn’t getting the right information and relied on the internet for advice because midwives were so against it. I also felt like a failure and, oh the shame.

      Liked by 1 person

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