In September 2020, I became a mom for the first time. And while being pregnant and giving birth in the middle of a pandemic was not ideal, it was also out of my control. In surrendering to that notion and to all that comes with motherhood, I have realized that both difficult truths and beautiful moments can coincide and hold space in my life at the same time. While I'm still very, very new at this and learning every single day, I wanted to share the top 5 lessons I've learned as a new mom.
This month, my daughter turned 8 months and I finally feel like we have hit our stride where I feel settled and confident in who I am becoming as a mother and as a person. Seeing our little one grow so much, so quickly has been one of the most inspiring experiences in my life. As I sit here reflecting on how far we’ve come, I have a few lessons to share that may be helpful to other new moms out there:
5 Lessons I learned as a new mom:
Ask for help when you need it. I know the physical aspect of helping may be challenging with COVID surrounding us, but you can always call/text/Facetime with your support network. In the early days of being a new mom, I would call my own mom, sister or friends just to hear their voices and get reassurance that I will eventually sleep again, and that I am doing a good job even if I felt like I had no clue what to do. Bookmark your favorite websites when you need to reference something quickly or join an online community of other moms that you can reach out to when needed.
Listen to your intuition. This one is so important! There is a lot of information out there on raising kids, and what works for one kid might not work for yours. Don’t think you are failing if you aren’t doing things the same way as other moms you know or read about. Take time to learn your baby’s cues and go with what works for your lifestyle. Go with your gut instincts and trust that you are doing what is right for you and your family.
Taking care of yourself is a priority. Sometimes this is a 10 minute walk with your headphones in or an uninterrupted shower. It can also mean you maybe go to SundayForever.com and buy your favorite candle to burn when you yourself are feeling burned out! Just remember: If you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t have much energy left to take care of your little one.
Enjoy the moments that fill you up and let go of those that don’t. You will have bad days. You will also have days that make you feel like you are on top of the world. And that’s life in general, right? Learn to let go of the baggage and negative voices surrounding you. Take in those beautiful, amazing moments and release those that do not serve you. Being present is the best gift you can give yourself as a new mom.
Don’t try to do everything, everyday. It’s impossible to just get showered and dressed some days, especially in the early weeks. It’s ok to get through the day however that looks. Don’t worry if your to-do list doesn’t get completed or even attempted at all. You’re in a temporary phase and you will find your rhythm. Be patient and gentle with yourself, the dishes can wait.
Everyday, I learn something new. I now have a little girl looking to me for knowledge, acceptance and love; and I want her to learn that she has value and is capable of achieving whatever she wants if she dreams it and works hard enough for it.
New mamas - you got this!! And for all the mothers out there - including those who mother themselves, who have lost their mothers or those who have struggled to become a mother; I say “Happy Mother’s Day!” Let’s look to the women in our lives and communities and be each other’s mothers. We can lift each other up and celebrate the amazing feminine energy that we bring to this world.