words for the mom with a newborn

To the mom of the newborn.

I am freeing you today.

I am freeing you from everything that you think you need to be doing.

I am freeing you from needing to have your house spotless, meals prepared, perfectly done hair, and a to-do list with everything checked off. (Oh yes, by the way, that to-do list will never ever happen so just prepare yourself for that.)

I am freeing you from scrolling through pinterest or facebook or looking through those glossy colored magazines and you deciding that the only way to be a good mom is to have all of that stuff done.

I am freeing you from looking at the mom with many kids and wondering why she seems to have it together and you’re struggling to just get the dishes in the dishwasher.

I am freeing you.

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You, right now, do not need to worry about any of the should have’s, the could have’s, the need to do’s, the stuff that we all think motherhood is about. You don’t need to sit in your living room wondering why taking care of this creature that you waited for what feels like forever feels so ridiculously hard.

Instead, listen. Listen, you have a newborn.

You have a newborn.

A wake up whenever they want to, cry without you knowing what they want, eat all the time, poop all the time, spit up, change their clothes what feels like a million times, rock in the rocking chair, pace the living room dancing, burping, little creature that needs you all the time.

Do not worry about the other stuff right now. I know, I know, it feels like a fog – it feels like you’re underwater swimming and needed all the time – and the truth is? That is exactly what it is. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Don’t feel guilt about not savoring every single moment, but because, really, you just need to get through every single moment. This is a time in your life when you will be pushed to your limits mentally and physically. You’ll want sleep more than anything and will dream about just getting a fifteen minute catnap. You’ll eat in spurts and will have laundry behind and well, you’ll give and give and give.

Don’t compare.

Do. not. compare.

Don’t look at the mom with many kids and wonder how in the world she has it all together when you feel like you can barely roll out of your bed in the morning. Do you know why? Because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, honestly, if you feel like she has it all together. Do you know what matters?

What you’re doing right now.

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It’s a season. A very short season that when you’re in the middle feels like it will take forever to get through. It’s a time in life where the days are blurred together and yet passing by. And you will get through.  You will simply get through. That newborn will grow, will start smiling, will start sleeping through the night (can we just all stand up collectively and cheer?), will start becoming more independent, and you will grow with them. Don’t forget that. You are learning to mother, you are learning about your sweet child and their nuances, and you are growing stronger.

Some day, sweet mother with the newborn, you will be in the spot where I am remembering these days. I look at my life and think about how it’s been four years (look at those pics of my Samuel) since I’ve had a newborn in my house, and yet, oh my goodness, I can still remember how exhausting it truly was during those days.  And you will know, you will remember, and you will tell that mom with the newborn the same thing. You will tell her how important it is to accept help, to sleep, to not care about minutia, to overpack the diaper bag,  and to learn to trust herself.

No one can teach another how to mother – it is simply something learned – it’s an ebb and flow, trial and error, pick up and do it again, and most beautiful thing. Don’t forget that. Even though it may just feel like what you’re doing doesn’t really matter or that you’re out of breath or that you just wish sometimes for a moment to have a break or that you’re not doing a great job or that all you want is sleep – it all matters.

So, from me to you, I stand up and tell you that you are doing an amazing thing right now in the very normal giving of self. Yes, you right now, in a home that feels that it might have turned just a bit upside down.

You’ll find your new routine. You’ll get sleep. Well, maybe.

You are mother.

Now, onward, sweet mom with the newborn.

You are amazing.

And one day, one day you’ll wake up not so tired, you’ll look at that baby that’s grown, that baby that you rocked and rocked and sang to you, and you’ll think I did it. Because you will do this.

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*****
to sweet Alycia, mom of my beautiful newborn niece Violet, you are amazing. Thank you for being the exact mom that Violet needs and for giving of yourself. ~me

to read my letters to moms – letters about being real – click below.

 

Comments

  1. 1

    Am I allowed to still claim to be the mother of a newborn if my baby is 4.5 months? Because I loved every second of this. I lived every second of this.

    Absolutely beautiful.

    Thank you. for the freedom :)

    ~Jenna

  2. 3

    Thank you for every single word of this. I lived it. I’m living it. I appreciate this gift of freedom more than you know.

    Thank you, thank you. ~Jenna

  3. 4
    3peas_inapod says:

    Thank you for this. As a new mom, this really hit home. I’m constantly trying to “compete” with all the other moms I see being ‘super mom’. I’ve realized it’s not works for me and my baby girl. So again, thank you, for encouraging this new mom of an amazing little girl. :)

  4. 5

    I really miss everything about having a baby around here, even with the lack of sleep!
    Christ went through all this for us, that we might have hope! Praying!
    Isaiah 53:7-10: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
    My email address

  5. 6

    And once again, the Dad is ignored

  6. 8

    I am expecting my #7. These words are even good for me. I know, so well, that those early days, weeks, months are truly challenging and exhausting. Precious too. But can be a blur depending on the baby; some are easier than others…but there are always other demands with other children in the home as well. And they don’t stop needing us to be their mom. But you know, this newborn time is just as important for them – as they learn they can be a servant. They can become a little more independent when Mommies nursing baby. And they can bask in the beauty of of the preciousness of life. It’s all worth it. (and just a side note to mom’s with wee ones, but no ‘bigger ones yet’ – now that I have bigger ones, the whole having a newborn thing is so much more a ‘shared’ thing – you know how relieved you feel at night when you husband comes home and you have 2 more hands to help – well, imagine having them there all the time, having a baby later in life when you have older children is amazing) Shalom to all you new mom’s out there. Hang in there.

  7. 9

    Hope you have a safe trip! Sorry it’s so round about! Doesn’t make sense at all!
    Christ suffered in our place that we might have the hope of Heaven! Always praying!
    Isaiah 53:11-12 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
    My email address

  8. 10

    I just wanted to thank you for writing this. I recently found out that I am pregnant (with my 1st!) and of course I am trying to learn all I can. It is so wonderful to hear the words and wisdom that come with experience. What great advice to be able to look back on when we (my husband and I) start to experience those late nights and tiresome days we have to look forward to! Thank you, again, for sharing. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

    -Beth

    • 11
      Rachel Marie Martin says:

      Congratulations, Beth!! I appreciate your words and wish you the richest of blessings and joy.

      Rachel

  9. 12
    Cecilia Elizabeth Cervantes says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! My little princess is 12days old and though I love being a new mommy to my precious little one, there are times when I feel like screaming. Into a pillow since I feel like I don’t have a clue what mothering means. But your give me hope and joy :)

  10. 14

    It is 5:38 A.M. as I begin “typing” this on my kindle with my right hand. My left hand is holding the bottle for my precious 7 week old Andrew. Oh my goodness, those first two weeks were so hard! I was trying to recover from a very difficult vaginal delivery that was so close to going c-section. I wanted to breastfeed so much but I was in such pain and my baby stopped latching. After pumping all I could but still having a screaming starving baby, I ended up at the store at 3:00 A.M. to get a can of formula. I gave myself permission to get some extra sleep and let my body recover without the stress of nursing and pumping. I still wanted to give him breastmilk, but I was drying up while the rest of my body healed. I made the very difficult decision to go exclusively to formula. I realized it was better for Andrew to have a rested and relaxed mom who gives him formula than an exhausted and stressed mom who spends all her “free” time pumping and cries when an ounce gets spilled. It is now 6:03 A.M. and my baby is asleep in my left arm after having his bottle. He is satisfied and content, and I am happy. I can put him back in his bassinet in a few minutes and get a bit more sleep before starting a new day. Thanks for reminding me to be the mom he needs me to be and not the mom I think society wants me to be. I am so enjoying reading your blog (mostly during the middle of the night feedings) that I have recently discovered. Thanks for the encouragement and honesty.

  11. 15

    Wonderfully written. Most of my memories of those days are rather dim – my kids are 27 and 29, but parts are still quite vivid. My husband was deployed at the time of my son’s birth, so I was essentially a single mother until he was four months old. If it hadn’t been for the support of the other wives and experienced mothers it would have been a much more difficult experience. The other moms told me the same things you said above, relieving me of a great deal of stress.

    Thank you for being the voice of reason for others!

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  1. […] I wasn’t accomplishing, and wondering why it looks easy for everyone but me, and then I read Words for the Mom of a Newborn. And all I have to say is THANK YOU! A million times. THANK YOU! It is exactly what I needed to […]

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