Let's be real for a second: Becoming a mom for the first time is, to put it lightly, insane. Not only has your body been put through some serious changes throughout the past nine months, but now that you've actually made it through the arduous task of giving birth, it'll have to do even more changing. And your mental state? It could be anything from pure joy to fear to anxiety to shock to a weepy mess..or all of those things in a span of five minutes. Add in sleep deprivation and the fact that you're learning to navigate life with another human being depending entirely on you, and it’s easy to end up totally overwhelmed.
But do you know what, new moms? It's okay. I promise. It is.
It's okay if you cried on your way to the hospital, or as you headed toward the labor and delivery room, or the entire time you were there.
But it's also okay if you didn't cry at all, even when you saw the baby for the first time.
It's okay if your birth plan didn't go as you'd planned, or if you caved and went for the epidural you swore you wouldn't get, or if you planned on it from the get-go, or if you had to have a C-section, despite that being your biggest fear.
It's okay if you felt like the birth experience shed you of your dignity, because you really do still have some (believe me, those doctors and nurses have seen it all).
It's okay if your baby latched immediately to your breast, or if you needed three nurses to finagle it into the baby's mouth, or if you weren’t able to nurse, or if you said “it's not for me” and decided that formula was best for you.
It's okay if you felt like, upon immediately seeing your child, you'd known him for years.
And it's okay if you felt like you didn't know him at all.
It’s okay if you needed someone to show you how to change a diaper.
And it's okay if you sent the baby to the nursery for the night while in the hospital so you could get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, because it may be the last for quite some time.
It's okay if you asked the nurses hundreds of questions, or if you didn't have any at all.
It's okay if you needed help when you got home–lots of help, and in many different forms.
But It's okay too if you banished the help and the visitors from your home, because you needed some time to figure this out for yourself.
It's okay if your house was completely trashed and you just couldn't keep up, and you wondered how in the world one tiny, immobile baby could cause so much mess.
It's okay if you studied the hospital's “bringing home baby” manual all day long, constantly in fear that you'd mess something up.
It’s okay if you logged the number of bowel movements the baby had every day.
And it's okay if you didn't.
It's okay if you googled search terms such as “why won't this baby sleep???”
It's okay if you had a hard time deciphering the baby's cries, and it's okay if you did things differently than you'd anticipated.
It's okay if you had to watch a YouTube tutorial on how to swaddle a baby or how to use that insane baby carrier.
It's okay if the biggest accomplishments of your day were showering and combing your hair.
And it’s okay if you didn’t shower at all.
It's okay if the weight didn't fall right off, but it's okay if it did, too.
It's okay if you're not ready for an outing with the baby, and it's okay if you completely overpack your diaper bag when it's time.
It's okay if you feel alone, or crazy, or lost, but just remember that you're not. Why? Because becoming a mom for the first time is tough–really tough. And so many women have experienced that, and in so many different ways.
Remember that you are important, beautiful, and strong. You brought a child into the world. You can do this, one day at a time.
I've heard people say that the “it gets easier” saying isn't true, but I promise you that it is and that it does. Why? Because you adjust. Because you learn. Because you grow.
I promise: you've got this.