Being a first-time mom can be overwhelming, that’s for sure. I’ve heard from friends who are first-time moms struggling to find the rhythm once the newborn gets home. Their number one enemy is sleep deprivation and let’s face it, being a mom can be exhausting. I guess I’m just lucky enough sleep deprivation wasn’t much of a problem because Kai sleeps through the night since day one. And being the light-sleeper that I am, I can’t complain much about not getting enough Zs.
While every mom handles things differently, many share something in common: they not only worry about the baby but also the house and their spouse/partner. Because moms want to maintain a happy home for the family, she does everything in her power to get things done that she eventually ends up going into zombie mode.
It gets intense pretty fast especially for the first-time mom who is new to this whole thing.
I have moms who shared their stories with me and it’s hard not to feel for them. There’s the mom who needs to wake up in the wee hours of the morning just to make sure the baby feeds. Or the mom who can’t get enough of Zs because she’s mostly left alone in the house to tend to baby and the chores. Or the mom who can’t find a babysitter when she needs to go to work.
There’s the mom whose partner just sits there complaining about not getting enough sleep and refuses to watch over the baby. Or the mom who needs to stay awake at night to work because they can’t do it at daytime when the baby’s awake. Or the mom who has to deal with a partner who would rather hang out with his friends than stay at home and help with taking care of the baby because he feels he needed to “take a break.” The mom who juggles gigs and works X hours just to make sure baby has a good future because daddy’s a coward. And the mom who feels ugly because she can’t remember the last time she combed her hair or took a refreshing bath.
And then when this zombie mode becomes too much, there’s only one thing left to do – cry.
Moms cry because they feel they are alone in this motherhood journey. They cry because they don’t know what to do and they can’t figure out an easier way to handle things. They cry because of those effin’ hormones. They cry because they’re exhausted. They cry because despite working hard, they still feel they are doing things wrong. And they cry for no reason at all.
But after the last teardrop falls, a mother always picks up and keeps going because there are things that matter more than her emotions. There’s a wailing baby in need of food and comfort. There’s a baby who needs to feel the warmth of her embrace. There’s a baby who just needs her to be around.
The one important thing I learned when I became a mother for the first time is that your needs and wants no longer come first. And because that’s just too much to take in, you would wish to escape. Sometimes, you would even resent your situation.
But I wish to tell new moms that it’s alright.
It’s alright. Don’t focus on being the super-mom you thought you would be. Let go and leave some things undone. Don’t stress over the things you can’t control because you just can’t control everything. If you’re tired, take a break. Take some naps if you may. Ask the grandparents or any truly trusted person to watch over your kid even for just an hour. An hour of peace could be all you need. Ask your partner to take over because that’s what parenting is all about – it’s a partnership.
You may feel that you’re losing yourself to motherhood and it can be scary. You may feel that you’re not doing anything right, but the truth is, you’re doing a fantastic job. Know that you’re not alone and you can pull through. Hey momma, you’ll eventually figure things out and you’ll be alright. And pretty soon, you’ll learn to embrace the beauty that is motherhood.