Being a mom is hard. But being a new mom? Good God, being a new mom is like being tasked with scaling Mount Everest with nary a mountain climbing lesson under your belt. That’s why as a new mom, there are some things you should never apologize for.
A Messy House
So your laundry is scattered across three rooms and the dishes are piled up to the ceiling. Big deal. You just brought a HUMAN PERSON into this world and have been charged with keeping him or her alive. I’d say that task is of greater importance than making sure there isn’t any dust on the TV stand when company comes over.
Your Messy Appearance
Messy buns are in. And yoga pants are basically the ubiquitous uniform of moms. You’re tired. You have spit-up on nearly every square inch of your person. You do not have the time or the energy to be making excuses for your attire or inability to shower in the past three days. So don’t.
Your Leaky Boobs
By now you’ve likely learned that no matter how often you nurse and no matter how many nursing pads you stuff into your bra, those hooters are going to spring a leak from time to time. And you know what? Tough stuff, people who have a problem with it. You’re singlehandedly helping another living being to thrive and grow. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Your Post-Baby Body
It’s true that you can never quite “get your pre-baby body back.” And why would you want to? This body of yours, stretch marks and all, is responsible for growing and birthing a new life. Look at it as your badge of honor – your I-can-survive-damn-near-anything battle cry. Because making and delivering babies ain’t for the weak. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Your Disinterest in Sex
It’s understandable not to want to shove anything inside the area that something much bigger than the area just emerged from. Besides, even your doctor will tell you to cool it on the kinky for at least six weeks. You’ll know when you’re ready. And even if you don’t think you are, you’ll be surprised to discover that when you do feel comfortable enough to give it a try, it’s just as enjoyable (or, OK, nearly as enjoyable) as before.
Babies don’t come with an instruction manual (excepting that useless pamphlet they give out in the hospital). Of course you’re going to have questions about what to do! Even seasoned moms – ones who have been around the child-bearing block a time or five – still need advice from time to time. If you care enough to seek guidance, you’re doing it right.
Your Right to Deny Advice
Just because you ask for input doesn’t mean you have to run with every single thing you’re given, though. When it comes down to it, only you know your baby best. And even though many of those advice-givers have the best of intentions and the experience to boot, not everything will work for your child. You are the ultimate decision maker. Never lose sight of that.
It’s common for new moms to feel overwhelmed but to soldier on because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Nobody ever won a Mommy Medal for working herself to the point of near-death exhaustion. If you need a hand, shout it from the rooftops. And take it when it’s offered.
Wanting a Night Out Alone
There’s this misconception that once you’ve given birth, you will naturally never want to be away from your baby. This may be true for some, but for others like me, hell no, sisters. Some moms need the occasional night out with their partner or friends for some good, old-fashioned adult time in order to recharge and prepare to get back to momming in the morning. And there’s nothing wrong with that, sanctimommies be damned.
Feeling Down and Out
They say there are certain life milestones that make some people more prone to depression and anxiety: birth, death, divorce, and starting a new job, to name a few. As someone who has done three out of the four, I can attest to the fact that giving birth is quite possibly one of the hardest of them. Your hormones are raging, your life has been turned upside down, and you’ve suddenly found yourself on constant call, bending over backwards for this tiny, helpless little poop monster 24 hours a day. If that doesn’t wear on you just a little, I don’t know what will. The important thing is that you seek help if and when the gloomies start to take over your life.
Not Being the Same You
If you’re among the first of your friends and family to have a baby, you may notice some people tell you you’ve changed – that you’re not the same person, as if this is a bad thing. Well, no shit! You just BROUGHT HOME A BABY. You never really lose sight of who you are at your core, but your priorities do shift, as do your energy level and interests. And there is not one thing wrong with this scenario.
So heads up, new mamas. Yeah, this parenting gig is hard. But I promise you’ll get used to it. And I also promise you have nothing to apologize for. Period.