“As moms of babies we hear it all the time: ‘You’ll have the rest of your life to get back in shape, Mama, enjoy those newborns snuggles!’ or ‘It goes so fast, just soak it all in!’
And while those things are very true, and something I have said myself to some degree, I also have this to say:
You matter too, moms.
For 9 (or so) months, you carried an enormous blessing. You housed and grew a life. You sacrificed sleep, and your wardrobe, and comfort, and activities you once enjoyed, and date nights because you were too tired, and the very feet upon which you walked because of swelling.
Pregnancy changed literally every part of you and no matter how supportive of a partner you may have, that’s a journey you walk through alone. And it’s not always easy. It’s not easy to not recognize any part of yourself, in a literal, physical, or emotional way.
And then, overnight, everything about your life changes with your baby’s birth.
Whether or not you will get to brush your teeth and get dressed in the morning before the baby wakes up; if you will make it outside for some fresh air; if you will even attempt any household chores or to put on real clothes–none of these things become a given anymore. And that might seem like such a small, silly thing, but when you don’t have a single thing to your day that you can count on, when you don’t recognize your own life anymore, it can feel incredibly defeating.
Right now, I have lost my ability to work, my ability to exercise, heck, even my ability to drink coffee.
I have lost all of the things that once made me feel like ‘me.’
And I don’t say those things to complain, or invoke pity, or lament about how awful motherhood is–I say those things because they are true. I say those things because that’s my life right now, even though I know it won’t be that way forever. I say those things because it’s OK to believe that your needs matter too, even when you have a newborn and even though this stage will pass so fast. I say those things because I don’t think that wanting a shower without a baby crying or a meal with two arms is a horrible thing, and it certainly doesn’t make you (or me) a bad mom, or a selfish person, or even an unfaithful woman.
I say those things because losing yourself in motherhood is hard. Hard is not bad, or wrong, or necessarily forever.
It can be hard right now, and that can be ok—
Because I believe that when we share the hard parts, we can help each other find our way back to the good parts too.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chaunie Brusie, 33, of Michigan. Follow her journey on Instagram here. The article originally appeared here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more stories from Chaunie here:
‘I feel like I’m crumbling. Then I stopped for coffee and got this reminder from the barista.’: Stranger’s act of kindness for overwhelmed mom reminds her there are helping hands ‘when we need it the most’
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