To my best friend on becoming a mom…
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you there would be nights you’d cry yourself to sleep cuz all the mom guilt and sleep deprivation is just too much to handle sometimes. But yet you wake up the next morning and you try again because your kids love you no matter what you tell yourself.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how you may find yourself face down on the ground after losing a sleep training battle for the 3rd day in a row. I promise, they will sleep.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you babies just don’t sleep sometimes and nothing about that has anything to do with how good of a mom you are. Nothing, you hear me?
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that the lack of sleep alone will put you at odds with your spouse, making you more irritable than you ever thought imaginable to the person you love the most. This too shall pass.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you the pressure you’ll feel to listen to everyone’s advice. Advice about sleep training, feeding, working, not working, etc., etc. They all mean well, but you have to decide for yourself what’s right for your family.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how excruciating going back to work after maternity leave ends can feel, and yet – it’s also ok if you feel relieved.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that pumping is the worst. Period. And if you can’t do it, it doesn’t make you any less of a mom.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that breastfeeding might possibly be the most painful thing your body goes through besides actually giving birth. And yet, it’s also the most rewarding feeling ever.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you formula feeding sucks too and just when you think it’s the answer to all your prayers – there’s a thing called a dairy allergy and that special formula is not only expensive but it stinks to high heaven so you’re gonna wanna let dad change those diapers.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how you’ll miss the carefree days of turning to your spouse and wondering out loud what you should do that night – go see a movie? Sure, why not? Le sigh. You’ll soon understand why babysitters are the hottest commodity since pop sockets.
But here’s the thing…I’m also not sorry.
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you about the sleepless nights, because I knew you’d get through them like the strong and resilient woman I’ve always admired. But just know, it’s ok to ask for help when you need it – of the human or pill variety.
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you all the ins and outs of sleep training, because I knew there’d be an army of moms way more equipped than I am to assure you that – Yes, your baby will cry, and yes, you both will survive.
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you how horrible some days it will be when your baby won’t nap or sleep thru the night. But I’ll always be there on the other end of the phone to reassure you that “It’s all just a season and you’re doing a great job mama.”
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you about the strain being new parents will put on your marriage, because I know y’all have a love like ours and I promise it will endure. Just lean on each other in the tough times and know you’re in this together – it’s us against them!
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you about all the unsolicited advice because it’s just inevitable and who knows – maybe it could be helpful to you at some point along the way. So just try not to get upset and when in doubt – politely ignore the old lady in the store.
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you about how going back to work made me more depressed than I’ve ever been in my life. That was my story though, not yours. You’re great at what you do and you’ve figured out a way to do what so few women can ever achieve – balancing a flexible work schedule with motherhood and that’s pretty awesome.
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you that you’ll hate pumping, cuz who knows, maybe you won’t. Oh who am I kidding – it sucks right??
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you the challenges of breastfeeding since nobody, nope not even the Doctors, midwives, lactation consultants, sister or friend can tell you how your breastfeeding journey will go. But yah, it hurts like hell at first – all you can do is listen to your body and trust your instincts. Which you did and it’s ok to be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you to supplement with formula, because some women need to and some women don’t. But either way, there’s no shame in it, at all.
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you how much being a parent changes things because honestly – there will be times you both miss those freedoms and yet all it takes is one look at the amazing, beautiful, tiny human you both created to make the past stay in the past and the future all you look forward to.
And lastly, I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you all this because I was too busy being so happy for you that you were finally getting your wish of becoming a mom. So I guess after all is said and done, I want you to know I’m so proud of the incredible mom you’ve become, and I’ll always be here for you should you ever need me to say the things I didn’t say ?
Photos courtesy of Gonzalo Farias Fotografia
Note – this was written in the middle of the night after two days straight of sleep deprivation. Hence, the brutal honesty…Love you Jamie ?