My sister-in-love is 4 hours away and in labor right now as I’m typing this. I’m not as close to her and my brother as I wish and I’m not about to blow up their phones with “all the things I wish I’d known”. So I’m typing it here.
I’m so excited to be an aunt! Finally! I mean, they’ve been married 10 years already. But not only am I going to be an aunt, I’m gonna be an aunt ×2! Yup! Twins!
If I’m being completely honest, I’m way more excited to be an aunt than I was to be a new mom, or even a 2nd time mom. There’s something about being on the survivor’s side of things that makes breathing so much easier.
Being a new mom is terrifying. So many, “what if I do xyz wrong?” thoughts and ideas. It can be paralyzing. Not just that, but pregnancy and labor is not the hard part.
The hard part is watching that teeny person grown up and having to let go just a little bit more every day. No one ever tells us this. We think they’re ours until college when we hand over the reigns, so to speak. But, no. We let go watching them walk into the first day of Kindergarten. That first soccer practice when they run to meet the team and don’t “need” you. The first middle school dance when he says he doesn’t want you to chaperone. We let go so many times more than I thought.
The hard part is asking for help. I didn’t know I could ask for help. I mean, everyone says, “let me know if you need something” but how do you actually ask someone to come sit in your living room and watch your baby so you can sleep for 2 uninterrupted hours in your own bed? Or, how do you say, “I know how to cook, but I just can’t today. I need some company and please bring food.”?
Why yes, I did have post-partum depression. How’d you guess?
But seriously, moms we HAVE to stop being so hard on ourselves!
I texted my SIL a little bit ago, yes, in the midst of labor, and told her she’s going to be a great Mommy. Because she is.
I don’t care if she breastfeeds or bottle feeds as long as those babies are fed.
I don’t care if they eat organic vegetable 5 times a day or pick French fries off the car floor and then lick the cat, because we all have those days.
What I do care about is that she knows how much her family is loved and that I’m always in their corner. What I care about is even on the bad days that she knows she’s a good mommy.
So I’m writing this, as I’m sitting here in my car waiting to pick up kids, tears streaming down my face, because I want her to always know that I believe in her and that she’s a good mommy. Those are the words I needed most as a new mommy, in a new state, surrounded by strangers.
It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to have a bad 5 minutes or a bad day. It’s okay to ask for help with everything. It’s okay to not know it all. Even in the midst of all that, you’re still a good mommy.