Happy Mother’s Day!
These are some words I want you to know:
You ARE ENOUGH.
You are the best mama for that baby, no matter how old your baby is. You are love, warmth, security, nourishment, patience, unconditional everything. Baby books, Pinterest projects, meals made from scratch, shiny dust free floors; none of those things matter to that baby. You are enough, exactly as you are, and you are perfect.
Your baby LOVES YOU.
Can you feel it? Can you feel how your baby relaxes when you put him on your chest? Can you feel how his body softens and his breathing regulates? Can you feel how he falls asleep in your arms because he knows he is in the safest place in the universe?
Can you see it? Can you see how your baby looks at you while she’s eating? Whether she’s at the breast or taking a bottle, your baby loves to look at your face. You are the most beautiful thing in the world to her. You are home.
Your baby CANNOT hear your thoughts.
Scary thoughts happen, and they totally suck. Those silly thoughts, the ones where we see something bad happening to our baby, the ones where we think we are worthless, the ones where we think we are blowing this whole thing, those thoughts suck. They aren’t uncommon for moms. Most of us have some level of these thoughts after having children. Some of us (1 in 7) have these types of thoughts SO much and SO often that they aren’t considered just thoughts anymore but actually mood disorders. Mood disorders derail a lot of things. But they aren’t forever, with help, and support, you will get better.
Your baby cannot hear your thoughts. Your baby doesn’t know how scared you are and how lonely you feel. She knows your smell. She knows your heartbeat. She knows your face. She knows you are hers.
You ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!
Your baby is growing, and thriving, and developing! You are doing everything you know how to do to insure that this keeps happening. If your baby is struggling, you’re doing everything you can to help them get better. You’re driving across town to the pediatrician’s office. You’re calling the nurse. You’re reading EVERY. SINGLE. ARTICLE. on the internet (maybe you shouldn’t do so much of that) to figure out how to do things better. You are working your butt off to make sure you’re doing everything right.
I want to tell you something, and I think you really really need to hear it. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! Is it the exact same job your mother did? Or your sister or best friend? Is it the same job some stranger in a Facebook group down the street or on the other side of the planet did? Is it the same job I did? Nope. It isn’t. And, it doesn’t have to be. You are doing the greatest job ever for YOUR baby and YOUR family, and you are doing it well!
You AREN’T PERFECT.
There, I said it. You aren’t perfect. None of us, NONE of us is perfect. We are all wading around in our sludgy imperfect ponds trying to do the best that we know how to do. Sometimes, we feel like we’re sinking. Sometimes, we think we suck. Sometimes, we want to lock ourselves in a closet with a glass of wine and a candy bar and cry our damn eyes out. It happens to all of us.
Motherhood is the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s the most time-consuming, gut-wrenching, self-doubting, grossest, exhausting, challenging, and sometimes humiliating experience of my life. Your boss is super whiny and it seems impossible to satisfy him. Everyone is judging the job you are doing, pretty much all the time. At least, it sure feels like that. There’s 4 million different approaches to the same problems. It’s confusing and overwhelming, and quite frankly, it’s amazing that any of us survives it.
But, we do, and you will. You will survive. You and your baby will thrive. You will go together on this imperfect journey through your sludgy ponds and you will love each other on the way.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
YOUR BABY LOVES YOU.
YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.
AND, YOU ARENT PERFECT, AND THAT’S FANTASTIC.
On Mother’s Day and every day know that you are loved. Know that you are doing the absolute best job you can. Know that you are learning and growing and thriving, just like your baby is doing. Know that you are REALLY good at this, even when you think (or some jackass tells you) that you aren’t.