"That they (the older women) admonish the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mom Monday

A dear friend of mine recently had her first baby. I loved talking with her about the ups and downs of pregnancy and labor and birth. For some reason, I love talk to and help anyone who needs it with anything pregnancy or birth related. I should have become a midwife! :) It never occurred to me (probably because I mostly forgot about it myself), but I should have done a better job "prepping" her with some of the things you face as a brand new mom that you usually don't hear about.

Most of the time, when you think about a new baby, your mind goes to pictures of mom and baby cuddling and smiling, the baby cooing softly and everyone adoring this new little bundle. I don't know about you, but thinking back I can remember VERY few of those moments occurring in my daughter's first few weeks of life and they were usually only when other people were around. Here's what I remember a little more vividly: Being exhausted from labor, my daughter not nursing right (which led to me crying during feedings and eventually bleeding), three hours of her screaming (from about 12AM-3AM) and my husband suggesting we put her in the closet since she was going to cry regardless of what we did. I remember thinking "What on earth have I gotten myself into" and I felt totally disillusioned and even resentful. Sometimes I would cry out of frustration and regret to my husband.

Here's the thing: that is all normal. But for some reason, no one ever tells pregnant women that. Maybe because we don't want to scare them. We all laughingly talk about how "you won't be sleeping much" but I don't think the point is really driven home: Parenthood is hard. Especially with your first and especially the first 6 weeks or so. I remember telling my friend recently (who admitted frustration and feeling totally unprepped for the challenges) that it is perfectly normal to feel anger, frustration and resentment. I want to repeat this because you don't hear it often: THESE FEELINGS ARE NORMAL!!!

I used to wonder how anyone could ever shake or hurt a baby. I understand better now how people get pushed to that limit. The trick is, if you feel yourself about to go over the edge you must walk away. Let the baby cry, as long as they are safe and you've done everything you can. Crying won't kill the baby, but a tired, frustrated, over exerted new parent can without meaning to. You are not a failure. You are not a bad parent. You are not a bad Christian. Ask for help. Your husband, a friend, or a family member (who I bet is more than willing to come and see the new little bundle!) You don't need to make everyone around you think you've got it all under control or don't need any help. This is commonly referred to as "pride." Just about any mom will understand and be more than willing to help.

I know this post probably sounds a little depressing. I didn't mean it to be! I just want to encourage any of you who are new moms or expecting moms, don't feel alone or that something is wrong with you. We all go through it and there's support for you! And don't worry, this phase doesn't last forever. But then, of course, you'll reach a whole new one with a host of other fun things to deal with and learn about! Welcome to parenting! :)


Lady Jen on March 24, 2009 at 4:19 PM said...

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