Dear Postpartum Momma,
From the moment you knew that you were pregnant, you were a mom. You had fears, you were overjoyed, and you were planning. You were a mess of emotions, fears, and dreams. You kept telling myself that God does not give us anything that we cannot handle. Yes, not because you were not happy. But you did not trust that you were ready. You were overwhelmed.
You were never that glowing momma. You were a terrible pregnant person. You were a hormonal mess, eczema on your face, and tired. You did not get that excited bliss feeling and nesting phase. For you, it was not the decorating the nursery part, but a last stitch marathon of organization. Organizing everything to make your maternity leave easier.
Then she was born. She was perfect. She was beautiful. She did not come into this world the way you hopped. She was born C-section because she was and still is stubborn. You will forever carry a scar that has changed your body. That is okay, although, yourself talk will tell you otherwise sometimes. You were able to birth a beautiful daughter in the way that God wanted you to. It was the safer way, the way it was meant to happen.
Your maternity leave was beautiful. It was joy-filled and you surprised yourself in all the ways you did this well. There was some anxiety. It only got worse when you started back to work. There were moments you cried in your car or office. You tried to hide it because you should love being a working mom, right? You felt like you were drowning. But others do it all the time. Why were you not good at it?
Well, my friend, you did it how you were supposed to. The only thing you could have done is ask for help and stop comparing yourself to the perception of the life that other working moms live. If you ask them, they are likely struggling with something too.
Then you became pregnant with your second child. You still had a baby at home. You had not figured out how to be a wife or mom yet. But you were excited to meet him. This pregnancy was different. You still did not glow. You were even more tired. Each ultrasound showed some sort of something. Something wrong. You were falling into a depression because you felt that you had failed him already AND you had robbed your daughter of her time with you.
Finally, you were in labor. In labor! You were in a new home. The crib was up and the diapers were there. The rest of the home was a crazy, chaotic mess. It was not your home yet or at least it did not feel like it. But you were in labor.
You had decided to do a v-bac. Yes, you intentionally decided to go through vaginal birth. Why? Not sure. Other than you wanted to prove yourself or you felt challenged? Who knows?!?!
You did not know if you were strong enough. The pain was out of this world! You were experiencing back labor and could not do anything to improve the pain. All of the breathing and training was out the window. You did not know if you could do this. Surprisingly, you did not swear during this time period. Odd. Very odd.
Thank goodness for the epidural. You were able to do it. You succeeded in birthing a baby boy. Despite the concerns for his life. You knew he was struggling based on the monitor and the facial expression of the resident. You knew you need to do this. You pushed through the fear and you birthed a baby. This is no simple feat.
Now, the work started. You are an intelligent person, but did not know what to expect with a vaginal birth and tear. It was awful! It was so awful! The recovery. The tears. You pushed through. Even after that first night. The one were you felt like you were crushing it and than your daughter screamed for 3 hours like someone was murdering her. You cried with the baby. You all cried. You felt like you failed her. You hurt her. More tears. But you made it.
Maternity leave was different. It was full of fears, tears, anxieties, and all the things. You were a hot mess express. But you decided to pull yourself out. You decided to not let your depression be your story and the story of your children. All of these happened as part of your story.
You released control. You decided you could control YOU. You could control your reactions to everything. To the overwhelm of motherhood, house work, and all the things. You were the heroine of your story. You decided to stop surviving and start living. You know what? You opened yourself to a beautiful journey. A beautiful imperfect journey of action and motherhood. God gifted these children to you. He knew you were perfect to be their mother. All your flaws and all.
Perfection is no longer your goal. Sweet woman, you are not in control. You are not perfect. You are not alone. You are not the only one that has fears, that has a bad day, that has ever snapped at your husband, that has ever snapped at your child, or whose house looks like a hot mess by Wednesday! You are not in control. But you are enough. You have everything you need. Stop and celebrate all the wonderful things that you do each day. Stop and without judgement know that you will fail. These are only opportunities for improvement. You will improve and feel like you are crushing it. Then sometimes you will be challenged and go back to old ways. It is okay.
Here are some things I want you to remember:
Ask for help
You cannot do this alone. We used to have a community care for our children. So, say yes to anyone who offers to help you or ask yourself. There are tons of family and friends that love you and your children…they will be glad to help.
Go on a Date Night
You are tired. Yes, there are a thousands tasks for you to complete. But your marriage is so important. Your husband is important. Do not forget that. Tend your marriage like a garden.
This is not an option. It is not something you are gifted with once you check everything off on your checklist. Heck – dare I say start with your day with it. You will see a change.
Live all your dreams in the present
You used to dream. You did. You used to feel like you were capable of all the things. If someone dared say you could not, you would. You would do it and you would do it so well. Keep driving and keeping living. Go after your dreams and do not shy away for your life no matter how scary this is.
You are enough
You are enough. God has already gifted you all the thing you need to accomplish your dreams, to be an awesome mom, and wife, etc. You already have everything you need. Remind yourself you are enough.
Know your values and what you need in this season. I know we think we can do all the things. But it is important for you to focus on what is important to you and your family. Say yes to the things that bring you joy and no to the things that do not. It is okay to say no and it is okay to disappoint someone. You need to make yourself happy.
Surround Yourself with Wonderful People
You have been blessed. God has gifted your amazing people in abundance. They love you. So, continue to love them and be honest with them. They want to know how you are and they will call you out on any BS. They will challenge you and help you grow.
There are many more things that you should know and tell yourself. But friends you are strong, beautiful, and intelligent. You will do wonderful things. Believe in you. Trust in you.