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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Thank you. for the freedom 🙂
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
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. 🙂
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
And once again, the Dad is ignored
Dads rock. I’m grateful for them. My site is simply written for moms as the perspective I have is that of a mom. Thank you for all you do. And yes, thanks for sitting up with those newborns as well. That. is. tiring.
FYI: Here are a couple sites written for dads.
I have 3 children and let me tell you, the newborn experience was all me! I’m sure there are dad’s out there who share in this experience but I personally have not met one. I love being a mother. I loved having newborns. It was an incredibly sweet time. But, yes, I would have killed for a nap. I was up 10 times though out the night while dad slept soundly with ear plugs. Dad changed one diaper, ever. One. I had cracked, bleeding and excruciatingly painful nipple for 6 weeks with each child until my nipple toughened up. I nursed my babies with love and whenever they needed fed for the first 18-20 months of each of their precious lives. Dad never fed a baby. Did he hold the baby for a few minutes when he came home from work? Yes, he did. Did he go to work, come home, watch TV all evening and then sleep soundly all night with his trusty ear plugs? Yes, he did. Dad has absolutely no idea what it is like to be a mother. He did not, in any way share in the newborn experience. I believe it is becoming more common for dad’s to be involved and that is wonderful. But, for all of those dads who ignored us when we needed help the most, you will be ignored when referring to the entire birth and newborn experience. You did not raise this precious baby and therefore, you will not be given credit. I realize I sound bitter and I realize this comment will make people mad. That’s OK. In my experience, this is the truth. I do hope it is not the truth in yours.
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.
Your words are so true, Tara. I only have 4, but they are ages 14, 12, 9, and 7 months. Nothing like an age gap like that to make a comma truly appreciate of how quickly these days (and sleepless nights) really do go by. I love having the help of all 3 of my big kids. They each have their strengths and are helpful in different ways with the baby. I am so grateful for their help and probably don’t express it enough.
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
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.
Congratulations, Beth!! I appreciate your words and wish you the richest of blessings and joy.
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 🙂
Bless you Cecilia. And congratulations.
[…] 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 […]
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.
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!
Thank you for posting this. I needed this right now. As I type I am up with my newborn 5 day old girl. I have not had one night of sleep since I gave birth, and I am also sick with a nasty cold as well as my other two daughters. Its been rough, I’m sick and I’m very tired, and have been mentally trying to rush through this time, but you just reminded me to take it all in. We are planning on this being our last child, and I need to appreciate every second I have in this season, as it probably won’t come again. I have to just relax and stop trying to do so much. I’ve been overdoing it and ended up hurting myself because ive been lifting things around the house. Thank you for your words of encouragment!
I have found myself in a unique situation. My family had a family reunion planned just around the time of my due date. I ended up with a C-section and went ahead and sent my family on the reunion a week and a half post baby. I thought this would be a good idea, give me a break, give me time to just enjoy baby and nrest, and then as the time grew closer, I realized how badly I wanted to go with my family! I wanted to be with them, and I wanted them here with me. Even if that meant more things to take care of, less rest for me, less time to hold the baby because there were five other kids Who want a turn to hold him.
So now I find myself in an unusual circumstance, where I have a lot of time on my hands, I have all the time to sit and hold this precious little one, and yet I find myself aching for all the reasons to be needed every two minutes of every day. I am just trying to get through this now, enjoying the quiet, enjoying all the time to hold baby, and yet anticipating the return of the normal crazy busy that I love and embrace every day.
Thanks though for the reminder though to just be content with where I am and what I have.
My little girl is 10 days old and I’ve never known a love like this. It’s exhausting and mentally trying, not to mention physically. After she breastfeeds (as painful and time consuming as it is) and sleeps in my arms, it is all worth it. I just stare at her in awe and try to savor these moments I will soon look back on and wish time didn’t go so quickly. Being a mother is a phenomenal calling.
As a mom with many just gotta say, I don’t have it all together. With newborn number 9, I need to hear this, think I would have learned by now but mom-ing is tough whether you have 1 or 9. This post and all the others is so needed by me-the mom who “has it all together”