Dear new mom, you are a f***ing superhero

Dear new mom,

You are a f***ing superhero.

You may not believe me right now, but you are absolutely amazing.

I know you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, scared to death and more in love then you ever thought possible. You look at this little person that you brought into this world and your heart swells in your chest. Sometimes when you look at them, their perfection makes you want to cry (some days everything makes you want to cry).

You (almost singled handedly- outside of that part at the beginning) created a life. This tiny person lived and grew in your body listening to your heartbeat. Your blood doubled, your brain shrunk, your ribs expanded and your internal organs took vacations to crazy new parts of your body. Your body kept that baby growing, kept them safe and helped them thrive.

You went through labor and felt the power of your body. You hated your body for what it was putting you through and you just wanted that baby out. You walked and breathed and screamed and held on for dear life. Then magically the chaos turned into beauty and you held the most amazing thing you had ever seen- your baby. In that moment, you were a mom- it happens in an instant.

As the baby laid on your chest and gasped their first breath on the outside, they knew that you were their mom. You looked at them and knew that you would spend the rest of your life protecting them, loving them and doing everything in your power to make their life beautiful. You already knew that this person, this tiny scrunched up ball of perfection, is the best thing you have ever done in your life.
I know you love that tiny human so much that you rode in the back seat on the way home from the hospital holding their amazingly small hand and bracing the carseat- mainly because you have no idea if you installed it correctly. You held your breath all the way home as if that would some how keep them safe.

I know you are exhausted. You had no idea that you could be as tired as you are right now. You long for sleep and for rest. Your body aches, not just from the 9 months it spent expanding or the hours of labor that you endured, but also from holding that tiny human with arms that had never known the weight of the responsibility they now have. You are exhausted not only from the lack of sleep, but from the millions of thoughts that keep your mind buzzing long after the baby nods off. While they sleep nestled on your chest your worries pass through your mind unresolved- am I doing this right? can I make it through another night like last night? why isn’t this as easy as it looks? why didn’t someone tell me how hard this is? are they still breathing?

I know you are comparing yourself to other moms. You stare at the mom in the grocery store who breezily strolls down the aisles with a baby strapped to her chest AND a toddler in her cart making that sh*t look easy and you silently shame yourself for taking 45 minutes to get your single child packed up and out the door, not to mention you have no idea how she got the baby in the carrier without a team of people and a youtube video.

I know you think she is a superhero.

She is (feel free to tell her so, because chances are she needs to hear it as much as you do).
But she is not the only one- you are too.

You grew a baby in your body.

I should actually just just stop there- if that doesn’t qualify you for super hero status, I don’t know what does.

You are also able to feed that baby with just your body, working both like a hose and a vacuum changing the make up of your milk to respond to what your baby needs. Just like your milk, you are specially attuned to respond to your baby’s needs. You exist on barely enough sleep to keep your eyes open, and can sustain that level of existence for months without breaking.

You are super-mom, and you are doing it right.

You know how I know?

Because that baby was specially created to be yours.  The decisions that you make are the right ones for you and your baby. No one else knows your baby like you do, and you are enough.

Stop judging yourself. Stop wishing yourself to be further along in this motherhood game where you have confidence and you can wear your old pants.

Give yourself some grace.

Yes, you will get the hang of all these baby things, like diaper changes, soothing their cries and how to stroke their forehead in such a way that makes them drift off to sleep. You are an expert in training and you have the best teacher.

Yes, the baby weight will eventually fall away, but it will take at least as long to go away as it took to gain. You are luminous with the glow of new love, that is what people see.

Yes, breastfeeding will get easier. It won’t always be a two person job that is done in your living room mostly naked (in the least sexy way possible). Someday you will be able to breastfeed around others in a public setting with confidence and ease.

Yes, the baby will sleep in a bed rather than on your chest at some point and no, you are not ruining their sleep habits for the rest of their life. I promise you will not have a teenager who still sleeps on top of you all night.

Yes, you will soon leave the house by yourself with nothing more than a purse and the baby. You’ll even figure out how to use the baby carrier and someday, not too far down the road, another new mom is going to stare at you coveting your superhero cape streaming behind you as you walk through the grocery aisles. You will blush when she comments on how easy you make it look and you will feel tears welling up in your eyes when you think back to all the moments when it wasn’t easy and you had no idea what you were doing. Make sure to reassure her that she will make it look easy someday too.

You are doing it.

You are an awesome mom.

If no one told you that today, take it from me. You are killing it at this mom-gig.

You are perfect.

Perfect in your love for your baby and perfect in who you are as a mom.

Take a deep breath and inhale the scent of newborn baby head and relax.

You’ve got this.

You are a f***ing superhero.

Please know that this was based on my own experience of being a new mom, not everyone has the same one. Moms who didn't carry their babies or don't breastfeed are still superheroes. Actually, anyone who cares for another life is a superhero in my opinion, but that is for another post at another time. This post was for my new mom friends who are near and dear to my heart. The ones I see loving their way through these first few chaotic weeks of motherhood, who need to be told how amazing they are. This was for them.