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Hey, Post-partum self...


" So far this week has started off as "one of those weeks" for me. One of those weeks where I catch myself as a mom asking "what the hell am I doing wrong? Why won't she sleep? Why isn't she napping? Is she eating enough? I hate breastfeeding, I want my body back, will I EVER sleep again? Am I wasting the business degree I got? I'm not offering enough financial help at home " Etc. Most the time all answers point to the obvious- a growth spurt, a mental leap,hormones ...blah blah. But there's just those times that those answers don't suffice and my job as a mom feels like someone dropped me off blindfolded in the middle of the wilderness. It's easy to post and talk about all the wonderful amazing things, and don't get me wrong there are ALOT of those times, but truth of the matter is being a mom (or dad) is just plain hard sometimes. It's the best job you'll ever have but it doesn't come with training, a manual, days off or lunch breaks. I get so overwhelmed sometimes to the point of sitting in tears on the kitchen floor in my food,spit up, milk covered clothes, no makeup and unwashed hair feeling so lost and guilty- sometimes even mourning my "old life"...BUT then these little chubby hands hold me tight and those big eyes stare up at me with that HUGE gummy smile...and its in those moments I realize that MY touch, voice ,body and care are the ONLY things that give Coco the peace to her restlessness or the dry eyes to her tears. These things make me realize that no business job or money in the world could replace me as Coco's mom. No one can replicate the touch or feeling she gets from me and vice versa. I / We are her whole world. So despite these hard, emotional,sleepless times- I will remind myself that "this too shall pass" and cherish this fleeting time of my beautiful growing baby girl , while trying my damnedest to be proud of the mom I am and will become. "



THIS. I wrote this 3 years ago today, when Coco was just 5 months old.

WOAH. Talk about a landmine explosion of emotion.


When this popped up on my memories, at first glance, I got a pit in my stomach just reading the first sentence. As I read this, I vividly go back to that EXACT moment in time.I had just finished sitting in the hallway bawling my eyes out from utter exhaustion, as I was on my 100th attempt to try and get Coco to nap.


I was tapped out, emotionally and physically. When I wrote "my job as a mom feels like someone dropped me off blindfolded in the middle of the wilderness." I 100000000% felt like this. I was lost as a goose, ya'll.

If your a new or expectant mom reading this, I'm not sharing this to discourage you or tell it gets better or you'll miss this or that....the norm, token mom blog stuff- actually,quite the opposite.


If I could go back to my 5 month postpartum self, here' a few truths I'd tell myself:


Lay off the dang mom groups.

Ya'll, the anxious Annie planner in me was obssessed with how things SHOULD be and what Coco SHOULD/SHOULD NOT be doing,based off unsolicited advice and parenting internet groups/schedules blah blah.

Now, I'm not saying don't seek out adivce if you need it, and some of the groups were actually pretty helpful, but don't get sucked in.For me, the plethora of information became overwhelming. Too much. Too many judgements & different opinions everywhere I turned, it sucked me in and I let it eat me alive and cause serious uneccessary stress.

I would lay in bed thinking, when I should've been sleeping "I can't let her cry because so and so says it'll wreck her as an adult, but also, this group says if I don't let her cry she'll be a non- functioning contribution to society...ETC."

Here's what I would tell myself :

Do what works for YOU, YOUR baby and family - sure, seek out advice here and there when ya need it but at the end of the day, do what works for YOU. If a group you're in doesn't seem in line with your needs or parenting or makes you feel like crap, simply leave it. You'll find your tribe/mojo and what works best for you.


FEEDING BABY

Now what I'm about to say is probably going to shock and offend some, but here's my truth. Personally, I did not enjoy breastfeeding. I did it, but it was not easy for me, ever. When I stopped, it felt like a weight had been lifted...but not without extreme guilt. At one point, I privately reached out to a breastfeeding group leader about supplementing (while still breastfeeding,)because mentally and physically, I had reached my breaking point with breastfeeding Coco. I was completely shunned and shamed, by the sheer mention of the F word, formula.I get it, it was a breastfeeding group but FOR THE LOVE, I was a new mom grasping at straws for help and encouragement. (Also,let me reiterate my point with laying off the mom groups that don't work for you haha.)

So If I could go back, I would tell myself : breastmilk or formula, or both-

FED IS FREAKIN' BEST!!!!!!

IT'S OK if you hate breastfeeding or you love breastfeeding or you can't produce or your kid won't latch or if they only want the boob or if they prefer a bottle or your supply tanks or you have to supplement OR OR OR OR OR....I'm not here to endorse either,but I am here to say : YOU'RE NOT A FAILURE - If you're feeding your baby when they're hungry, you're doing one heck of a job, momma.

SPOILER ALERT : Coco had breastmilk & formula.... GUESS WHAT? Today she's a wild, thriving three year old!


ASK FOR HELP

Oh man. I cringe a little when I read" this too shall pass... & to cherish these times."

Not at all because I don't agree with both of those things, but because I had the idea of both of those confused with "never ask for help, you must get through this on your own, you must be with your child with 24/7, cry in the shower every night and relinquish zero control in order to be a good mom."


I would go back and tell myself: Lighten up big crazy momma- ask for help. IT'S OK. Your mom card won't get re-voked. In fact, if anything some self care, whatever that might be for you, will only make you cherish and ENJOY the fleeting time with your little one that much more.A wise woman, Gervase Kolmos ( founder of Shiny.Happy. Human & mommy soul tribe, a mom group I actually HIGHLY recommend - no judgement zone style) once said

" You can't refill everyone elses tank, when you're runnning on E." This is just true in life , but especially as a mom, who has needs to meet before their own.


Mom Guilt is for the Birds

I could write a novel just on this alone, but one of the major things I struggled the most with when Coco was born, was guilt. Especially, about financially contributing to our family.

But that leads to maybe the most important thing I would go back and tell my post partum -self : Don't ever place or base your value or "success" as a mom, on whether you bring home a paycheck or not, or whether you go to work or stay at home.


Then I would've opened the book "For the Love" by Jen Hatmaker and slapped myself in the face with it!

The following are some of my favorite excerpts, that I'll leave you with today:

(This resonated SO deeply with me and still does!)


"Just because you don't get a pay stub doesn't mean you shrink back or play small or give it all up. Do your thing. Play your note. You are making the world kinder, more beautiful, wiser, funnier, richer, better.

So many of us eschew the honor of ordinary work and instead fret over the perception of wasting our lives... Goodness bears itself out in millions of ordinary ways across the globe, for the rich for the poor, the famous and unknown, in enormous measures and tiny, holy moments. It may involve a career and it may not. It may include traditional components and it may not.

To the mama at home with a bunch of littles, you can live a life worthy right now. Your calling is today. God makes you worthy as you desire goodness for your children, meeting needs, and nurturing little souls. No future calling is any more important than your current situation. Every good meaningful, possibilty is yours today. You have access to the kingdom now: The love, joy, peace, patience, kindess, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. That is every Christian's calling, and the gospel is perfectly demonstrated through the daily labor of parenting. (21)

These kids, this husband,this little life your building...you say amen. How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives. You decide your days should contain laughter and grace, strength and security.(16)" {For The Love by Jen Hatmaker}


XOXO-


Savannah












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