As a first time mom, my labor and delivery was great … and then we got home.
I sobbed the entire first night.
From then on, I wouldn’t get into photos because I didn’t like my new body. I panicked at every cry. I was once so sleep deprived that I thought I lost the baby in the bed; he was safe asleep in his bed all along. I created an oversupply with my breastmilk that caused my baby to projectile vomit every time I nursed, simply because everyone on the planet seemed to think they had a low supply. So I did what they did.
My problems caused more problems and more stress.
So when it came time to try for a second baby, I started proclaiming how things would be different.
Little did I know that telling myself this is how things would go, and mentally prepping for everything, would make such a huge difference.
When our brand new baby came out and we were told he might need to be taken to the nursery for an IV due to low blood sugar, I nearly lost it. Then I remembered what I had told myself. On the inside I was panicking a bit, but on the outside everything was calm as I asked a zillion questions.
When we went for our first doctors appointment and the pediatrician wasn’t happy with his weight loss, I started to panic again, and in the end, everything was fine.
I’ve learned I can, in fact, take a shower.
The five minutes it takes to wash my hair wouldn’t have damaged my first born, so my second born is more than welcome to fuss a bit while I do so.
I told myself I’d be more comfortable with nursing, and I am.
I forced myself to schedule a family photo session regardless of how I looked, and I’m so glad I did.
While what I see in the mirror is a slightly puffy face and a squishy body, what matters most is documenting these milestones in our family. There needs to be proof I was there.
And not just alive.
These little boys need a mama who is happy, confident, and present.
So if I have to tell myself I feel happy, confident, and present … even when I’m not … it will eventually come to be true.
We are all great moms just trying our best. So let’s give ourselves some grace to embrace life as it is and not hide because of imperfections.