I overheard a new mother recently and listening to her sent me down memory lane. I remembered how my inexperience smothered me with doubts and how the advice from everyone I crossed overwhelmed me. It was like I was standing in the middle of a ring, totally unarmed to deal with whatever was to come next. I guess it’s basically the same story with all of us, only the faces are different. That’s the inspiration for this blog. A big shout out to that young first-time mother, juggling between different responsibilities, and trying to do her best with the colossal expectations of the world looming large over her. Maybe I should write a book about it, what do you say? We’ll talk about that later. But for now, let’s get back to the letter to a new mother.
Hey new mamma,
Let me first congratulate you on your achievement. I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible journey you are on. Becoming a mother is a lifelong responsibility and a role that needs you to be everything and anyone at any given time. It will bring about a range of challenges both expected and unexpected. You must be still processing the magnitude of changes in and around you, taking you in its wake. Don’t worry it gets better with each day and you will surely savour the moments later (much later).
Remind yourself of your days as a young woman. Spirited, focused, and rearing to take on the world. Now your world revolves around that little bundle lying all wrapped up in a soft cotton blanket which you had yourself washed enough times that it’s surprising it hasn’t shredded. Balancing the demands of parenthood with your personal aspirations, to navigating the emotional and physical changes that come with it, your journey may feel overwhelming at times.
I want you to know that you’re not alone. Many young mothers before you have trodden this path. While the experience of each is unique yet their struggles are similar. They too have faced similar trials and have experienced moments of uncertainty. It’s normal to feel a confused range of emotions, from joy to exhaustion and frequent moments of self-doubts. Don’t worry, for you are doing an incredible job, even on those tough days. This is the first lesson of motherhood – that you will feel more than one emotion simultaneously. Accept it and own it like a badge of honour.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed or unprepared. This is a sign of strength, to be able to accept your shortcomings. And believe me, you will find yourself short on more than one occasion. Trust yourself and your instincts, for you alone, are the best judge for your child’s needs. Embrace the journey for each day will bring with it new challenges, and by extension new opportunities for growth and learning.
Know this, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. It is the ambition of each parent to be one but in truth, we are all humans. We make mistakes and we learn from them (hopefully). What matters ultimately is the love we feel for our children and our sincere efforts to raise them. Trust in your abilities and celebrate every little success. From learning to burp her to understanding her every tiny gesture, your everyday experiences will gradually enrich you with knowledge.
When I look back to my time as a new mother, I shudder to think about the insecurities that hounded me. I would often see my friends, new mothers themselves, handle everything so effortlessly that it made me question my capabilities. Was I doing it right? Am I a good mother? Is my baby ok? Believe me, nothing can assuage your fears but your confidence and your baby. Yes, if your baby is happy and feeling secure, it will show. Her happy gurgles and sunshine smiles are the only validations you need to continue. You are going to make mistakes but that’s how each of us has learnt. Don’t let it wear you down.
What’s most important is that you seek assistance whenever you need it, without hesitation or apprehension. No one will judge you for seeking it. Stay in touch with your friends who have undergone motherhood recently. Learn from their experiences. Ask for the counsel of the elders in the family; they have enough personal experience to share their knowledge. But the final decision depends on you. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet; it’s informative but you must filter it before you consume it. If you feel like you need to take a break, go ahead, and ask someone to fill in for you while you soak in the hot tub or catch up on your sleep. Your mental state will affect the baby. Don’t pass on your stress to her.
With each day, as your baby gets more aware of the surroundings, the bond you share with her will grow. She will recognise your touch, your voice, your smell and instantly connect it with love and security. Cherish these. Don’t let silly things take them away from you. What you’ve created is magic. Feel proud of it and enjoy the experience. Your love and care are invaluable and irreplaceable.
Being responsible for that tiny bundle is a privilege and a blessing. Appreciate it. You have my complete support as you navigate the challenges. I have full faith in your capabilities and know that just as you handled every other task with honesty, so will you this responsibility. Just trust your instincts and cherish the moments. I’m always there for you.
With deepest admiration and heartfelt support,
Before you go, don’t forget to visit the Crazy Wise Owl store and browse through the catalogue of engaging and interesting worksheet bundles and workbooks for your young learner. A limited time never-before SALE is on so make the best of it.
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