I saw you the other day, and I wanted to tell you that you are doing a great job.
Like the pain of childbirth, those first few months as a new mommy are easy to forget once your babies aren’t babies anymore. I forgot until I saw you.
I forgot about the hormones that take over your soul and threaten the lives of those around you. Those same hormones that shift in the blink of an eye and cause you to sob over a dog food commercial.
I forgot about the sleeplessness that drives you to the brink of insanity. When you begin to feel so crazy, you think the rhythmic sounds from your breast pump are words. “Just-in-Timberlake, Just-in-Timberlake.” (Or was that just me?)
I forgot what it was like to be so tired you could fall asleep standing up, and ran a real risk of drowning in a glass of water.
I forgot what it was like to recklessly abandon your own hygiene so those around you had what they needed. I, too, have worn the same ponytail for days on end. No judgement from me, you are rocking those sweatpants, Momma. Do your thang.
I forgot how wonderful a five-minute shower feels, with the temperature set to “eternal hell fire.” How just those five minutes allow you to put a few bricks of your sanity back in place.
I forgot the hopelessness you feel at 3 am when it’s just you and an inconsolable baby. How no amount of bouncing or sh, sh, shh-ing can provide the comfort either of you need.
Or the feeling of triumph when that same baby rests peacefully on your chest just moments later, and you think, “I got this.”
I forgot how much you question yourself and your instincts. How the mom-guilt eats you alive and you obsess about the decisions you are making, uncertain of “what’s best.”
I forgot all of this, until I saw you.
I wanted to tell you to be patient with yourself. It’s not an easy job.
You made a person. A whole person! And that person will grow to be one of the greatest joys you will ever experience. They will spill Kool-aid on the rug and break every nice thing you own, but you will love them without measure. This won’t be the first time they drive you to the edge of insanity, but take comfort in the knowledge that you will ride there together from this point on.
I saw you, and I remembered.
And I wanted to tell you, it’s all worth it, just hang in there.