Dear Erica –
I know you’re feeling terrified right about now. You just welcomed the most handsome little boy into your world, and you’re not sure what to do next. It’s not like the movies – you aren’t going to fall head over heels in love with being a mother right away. Maternal instincts will kick in eventually. For now, give yourself some grace.
There’s nothing that will rock your world more than having your first child. Your relationship with David will change, your relationship with your friends will change, even your relationship with yourself will change. With Finn comes a lot of change – some of it welcome, most of it, not.
I’ll be honest, those first three months are the hardest. You won’t be sleeping much, and Finn will demand your attention around the clock. Your body will be different – puffier and wider. Your boobs will leak all. the. time. Yes, you will need to wear a bra to bed. You won’t feel like yourself. You won’t want to do much of anything. You may feel a little depressed.
And then one day, you will wake up from the fog of the infant stage and realize that your baby can sit up, and eat real food, and sleeps through the night. He will start interacting with you, and soon, he will start walking, and running and even talking back. It doesn’t get harder, it just gets easier. Each stage has it’s pain and difficulties, but the newness of it all wears off over time. You both have learned how each other works. You fall in love with each other. You depend on each other.
Three and a half years into this motherhood thing, you’ll hardly remember what life was like before Finn. Now you have Reese, too, and unlike the first time, the second one was much easier. You’re an old pro – look how far you’ve come! Reese will teach you new things, too. Like how to take risks and how to feel content.
Motherhood suits you.
You’re not the first mom to feel all these emotions, and you won’t be the last. It’s all okay, it’s all normal, it’s all part of the journey.
It’s okay if you don’t want to take it all in. It’s okay if you need a break. It’s okay if you don’t love every minute of it. Just remember, motherhood will be the hardest job you’ll ever have, and most of the time it will be worth it. If you’re having a hard day, however, go for a run, watch some Real Housewives and drink a little too much wine. The days are long, but the years, they are already going way too fast.