Dear New Mom (everything I wish I knew),
Right now your baby boy is just a few days old. You feel terrified and inadequate to be his mother. This is not what you expected. You thought it would come naturally; you thought people would say what an incredible job you are doing as a mother. But instead, you feel alone.
Sometimes he cries and you don’t know why. He wails as he stares up at you with his big beautiful eyes, he expects you to know how to help him but you feel powerless. I know that you are confused and afraid. I know that you worry that you won’t have what it takes to raise this baby boy and be what he needs in a mother.
I know all the insecurities and fears that have arisen as you look back on your own life. You want better for your son than what you had but you worry that you won’t be able to give him things that you never knew yourself. I know it just hurts right now and sometimes when he cries – you cry too.
But sweet new mama let me tell you; you can do this. Your baby is so fresh and new and you are too. You are just embarking on this grand adventure called motherhood. This right here, is the hardest part and you are doing it well. I know it doesn’t feel like it but you are doing great. To him, you are the best mama in the world. You are his whole world right now. It’s hard and wonderful at the same time.
I won’t tell you to enjoy every minute; I know how impossible that is. I just ask you to look at his little face, kiss his little nose and hold him close. You cry as you rock him and that’s fine. He won’t know the difference but he will know that you love him. He will grow up to be one of the happiest kids you’ve ever seen. He will bring joy to your life and he will bring chaos. He will teach you about life, love, family and faith. You will learn to laugh and cry more than ever before. You will learn what it means to love another person more deeply than you ever thought possible.
The path ahead is not an easy one. But as I sit here today writing to you, I’m just 2 years down the road but let me tell you, it was all worth it. Every sleepless night. Every stress. Every fear. all the tears and pain. God uses it all and weaves it into a beautiful life. You won’t have everything you ever wanted. You will have much more and much less. But it will be wonderful.
One more thing: Please stop trying to be perfect. I know that you just want the world for your son, believe me, I understand that and I still want the world for him – but you can’t be perfect. Neither can I. We’re all imperfect moms doing the best we can. Some day you will learn to stop focusing on perfection and realize it is enough to just love him in every way that you know how. That is the day you will find complete joy in motherhood. You will realize that you are doing enough. That you are enough. You will know that kids don’t need perfection, they need love and they need to be taught about the only One that is truly perfect.
I know it is terrifying right now. I remember those feelings all too well. My heart hurts for you, but I know something you don’t. It does get better. Actually, it gets wonderful.
Hang in there mama, You are doing just fine
Paula (2 years later)
This letter was also published in the Young Parent Anthology book being compiled by Proud to Parent. The book will be given out at the annual Young Parent’s Conference held in Boston this Summer. It is such an honor to be a part of the book and what Natasha and all the other wonderful people at Proud to parent are doing! Praying many young parents are reached and encouraged, not only by this post as well as the entire book and conference! March 17, 2013
Need a bit more encouragement for your day?
What would you go back and tell yourself as a new mom? Share in the comments to encourage other new mamas!
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