Today I visited one of my best friends in the hospital after the birth of her first daughter. It was beautiful, amazing, and special, and I feel eternally grateful that she wanted me to be part of those first few days.
When I got in my car to come home, the first thing I thought was:
“I am SO glad I don’t ever have to do that again.”
I don’t mean having a baby, or being in the hospital. Nope… I’m talking about those first few days with your first little cherub. That time when you are overwhelmed with love and fear, when you have NO idea what you are doing or what might be in store for you, and when you are discovering how amazingly hard it is to be a mom.
That’s why you all get a high five. Seriously. Think back to those FIRST few days with your new one… can you remember how clueless and freaked out you were? Here are a couple of things that I’m pretty sure I was thinking :
- I’m sure this nursing thing is no big deal.
- Is this 2 hour feeding thing going to go on for a long time?
- She looks hot… maybe she’s too hot or uncomfortable. Is she ok? (stare at her for 7 minutes) I can’t tell if she’s ok? Maybe I should wake her up to check….
- Why am I sweating, crying, and filled with joy ALL the time… and all at once every hour?
- Oh! I just fed her… let’s write it down. Now she peed… gotta write that down.
- I should just relax for a minute before taking a nap or showering. Wait!?! How is it time to feed her again already?
- She’s crying!!!! AAUUUGH!!!! Get the paci, make a swaddle, or do anything… just make the daggers in my ears STOP!
- Um… am I ever going to sleep again?
- Is she going to die on the car ride home? This carseat looks barbaric.
Yeah. You know what I’m talking about. You can remember little pieces of it. Do you remember coming home? How it started to make sense in a hospital room, but suddenly she was in your house and it was so hard to figure out how to accomplish everything that needed to get done that first week? How do you get things done while not letting her out of your sight 24/7?
Exactly. I remember those days pretty vividly, and although that experience with my daughter was amazing…. I don’t ever want to go back there again.
BUT… I do think that we should all take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate who we have become. We have become mothers. We have SO much farther to go in this road, and the challenges have only just begun. Even though that might be the case, I want to take a minute and give myself an internal high-five. I made it through those first few days, years, and have even committed to be a mom to a second little angel. I know I’m not the best mom, but I’m trying my best.
So much of our time is spent considering the current or next milestone so that we have enough clothes, food, and activities to keep them happy. When we do think of the past, it’s about how much the babies have changed, or how they used to act, or what we should have done differently. We don’t often think back about ourselves and give ourselves props like, “Wow. I’ve now been doing this for 3 years, and everyone is pretty happy. The first few days, weeks, and months were crazy- but we made it out with smiles and only a few battle scars! Go US!” And we need to more often.