I saw you the other day, and I wanted to tell you, you are doing a great job.
Like the pain of childbirth, those first few months as a new mom 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 the rhythmic sounds from your breast pump form words. “Just-in-Timberlake, 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 to run 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 judgment from me, you are rocking those sweatpants, Momma. Do your thang.
I forgot how wonderful a five-minute shower felt, with the temperature set to “eternal hell fire,” and 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 a.m. when it’s just you and an inconsolable baby, when no amount of bouncing or sh sh sh-ing can provide the comfort either of you need.
I forgot 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, and how the mom guilt eats you alive until 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, especially when you’re a new mom.
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.