Sometimes, Preparing For Postpartum Isn’t Enough (And That’s Okay)

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“It’s often implied somewhere around the third trimester, pregnant women instinctively start to nest in anticipation of their newest little arrival. I’m not sure why this calling for me seems to manifest itself into baking pies, washing floorboards, and finally cleaning out those weird crumbs in the crevices in my oven, but it is what it is.

As much as we toil in anticipation over the birth of our babies, sometimes it seems like no matter how much we prepare, we’re never quite ready. This phenomenon is totally normal and probably more common than you think, and here’s why.

Preparing for a baby usually means acquiring a bunch of stuff and praying you’ll actually use it. We buy the swaddles, swings, ring-slings, nipple balms, perineal soaks, and pretty much everything else a friend, family member, or perfect stranger recommends we need. We build this army of baby gear, falsely comforted by this militia of newborn-stage survival stuff.

And then the baby arrives, and you suddenly realize she hates being swaddled, loathes the swing, doesn’t want to be worn, has a tongue tie, and you can’t even use your fancy herbal perineal soak because you had an unexpected C-section. Well, crap. Now what?

No matter how much we prepare for our new babies, it’s hard to know what exactly the baby will need until they are nestled up in your exhausted arms. Sure, curating a Pinterest-perfect nursery is great, but what happens when your baby refuses to sleep in his or her color-coordinated crib?

Well, you adapt. Motherhood is all about going with the flow. As much as we would all appreciate a straightforward roadmap of the easiest routes and most scenic attractions to stop and see along the way, it just doesn’t work like that.

So, if you find yourself suddenly feeling unprepared postpartum, please know you’re not alone. There is only so much you can do, and the expectation of being perfect is probably more exhausting than a newborn itself.

And speaking of exhaustion, I think it’s worth mentioning no amount of extra sleep you get while you’re pregnant (aren’t we all advised to ‘enjoy it while we can?’) will make up for the astronomical weariness of waking up with a newborn throughout the night.

So let go of self-judgment, mama. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to have all the answers. You can figure it out as you go. Because after all, motherhood is all about growing together.”

mom holding her baby on her chest after birth
Courtesy of Latched Mama

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Latched Mama. It originally appeared here, on their blog. You can follow their journey on FacebookInstagram, and their websiteSubmit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from Latched Mama here:

7 Surprising Things About My First Month Of Breastfeeding

I Did Not Feel Back To ‘Normal’ Several Weeks Postpartum—And It’s Time We Talk About It

3 Tips For Accepting You’re Not Your Child’s Preferred Parent

When It Comes To Postpartum Moms, The Most Valuable Help Has Nothing To Do With The Baby At All

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