A Celebration of New Parents

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Me, my college roommate, and her adorable 7-wk-old baby girl in San Francisco.

I just got back from visiting one of my best friends who recently had a baby. It was a really uplifting experience bonding with my old college roomie on a new level– as mothers. She is someone I admire greatly for her strength, perseverance, compassion and intelligence. While I was there she confided that becoming a mom has been one of the hardest, most exhausting things she’s ever experienced. I was surprised. If she thinks motherhood is hard, then damn, it’s really frickin hard. I’m not blowing smoke over here!!

Tidal Waves

My visit was a much-needed reminder of how scary and lost I once felt when I first had Noob Baby. Although I didn’t have post-partum depression, I experienced awful feelings of fear, panic, anxiety, hopelessness and loneliness for the first few months after having NB, usually in the evening hours before bedtime. The waves of dread would wash over me as bedtime creeped closer. I’d cry. I’d be almost immobile. I’d feel helpless. Hopeless. I’d feel so lost and lonely in those late hours when it seemed like everyone else was asleep except for me and the unsoothable baby. It took so much to stay composed and rational when all I could see was a long, neverending night ahead of me. Day in. Day out.

Would she ever sleep? Would I ever sleep? Will I be able to go back to my own bed…. EVER? I slept on a borrowed blow up mattress for weeks next to NB’s swing because she wouldn’t stay asleep long enough for me to justify going back to my own bed.

Somehow I survived that. Not once, but twice.

Soul Food

Coming back from my visit, I realized how being with one of my closest friends, her loving husband and their beautiful new baby was an unexpectedly therapeutic experience for me. I hoped to go and offer my love and support for a few days (as best I could), but in the end, it was I who was uplifted and grateful for the trip down memory lane. I suppose I needed that reminder of how far I’ve come along as a mother in the last five years. The best part was having the chance to relive the newness and wonderment of caring for a newborn and witnessing the love and trepidation between two new parents.

You Are Not A Failure!

Being there also reminded me how many new parents often feel like failures, when they’re not! My friend was so hard on herself, yet, it was completely evident to me how loving, responsive and tender she was with her precious little girl. When your brain is running on empty, it’s hard to put things into perspective. I know how incapacitating the feelings of exhaustion + frustration can be. Remember… lean on your loved ones. Ask a friend to bring you some hot food so your brain and body can recharge. Forget the laundry. And when you’re lonely, seek other moms who know what you’re going through. That is how this blog came about after all. Five years ago, I wanted to connect with other moms who would understand my desperation and noobiness. 

Tunnel Vision

With the start of the new year, I thought it would be a great time to celebrate all the wonderful new moms out there who are probably feeling just as terrified and hopeless as I did five years ago. Just remember, you will soon be out of this shitty, confusing phase of half-asleep-always-awakeness and be dispensing your own snarky unsolicited advice in no time. You will get some sleep. Your baby will one day learn to sleep (without you). Or so I’ve heard ;)

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Until then, enjoy all the noob moments; because you’ll be out of this tunnel before you know it. Enjoy traversing around town in your stretchy pants because no one’s going to judge you for the first 6  4  10 months or so (unless you’re French, then 1 month tops). Snuggle your baby who smells like heaven. Know that you’re doing your best and that’s all that matters. Know that babies are crazy. Know that there is no magic formula and whatever works now probably isn’t going to in a few months… so fuck it. Know that you’re now part of the biggest sorority on earth and it’s Rush Month(s)… that’s why you feel like you have the worst f$!@%#* hangover of your life.

Thank You

I appreciate all of you lovely readers who’ve somehow found my blog and care about what I have to say. Thank you for sharing your comments with me. And thank you for sending me your gracious mombie emails at 3 am when all you want to do is sleep.

XOXO

Comments

  1. 14
    Madison says:

    Georganne, I’m with you on that one! Great post. The first 6 weeks were the worst time of my life in a way. Breastfeeding, no sleep, and arguing with my partner made this new life seem like I’d made a mistake or I wasn’t cut out for it. I felt like my I was just trying to sustain his life basically. but then something happened around the 6 to 7 week. I started feeling more confident. Bf stopped hurting and become second nature, I started getting out… And life got better. I still have my doubts and I sometimes feel like what have I gotten myself into, but now, I am so friggin bonded with this kid. I live and breathe for him now and the thought of anything happening to him already gets my blood boiling. It makes me cry that he will have his heart broken, maybe get in a fight, and make mistakes which will have consequences. I love him very deeply now which didn’t happen right away. So thank you for showing that this bonding and emotions do take time at least for some of us.

  2. 15

    Thanks again and again for your blog. You express brilliantly what mothers need to hear. Most importantly for me that I am not alone in this crazy train that is motherhood. Its so good to know that we all share so many of the same experiences and that it will get better…or somewhat better at a certain point. My little girl is 18 months old now and my husband and I are finally seeing a glimmer of hope that we can regain at least a little of our former selves. My hat is off to you with two! Thanks again, I do love your writing and recommend your blog to all my new mother friends.

  3. 17
    jessica says:

    I should be asleep right now… Seeing as my baby FINALLY fell asleep. It’s 249a. My husband was the one that was able to get baby girl to fall asleep. I had given up after an hour of trying. And it’s been like this for a month. A month that seemed to have taken forever. Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for writing (typing) this. I do needed to read something like this. I came across your blog when I was googling ways to help my baby fall asleep. I’ve now bookmarked this site. Thanks again. I’m going to sleep now…. For about two hours… Then baby will wake up hungry and repeat.

    • 18

      Jessica – Hang in there! I remember those days of checking out Facebook at 3:30 am! Feeling so lonely and tired. You will be out of that fog sooner than you know it. Good luck to you!

  4. 19

    Thank you for your blog, I love it and so happy I found it <3 keep it up!

  5. 20

    I couldn’t help but laugh and shed a tear over this post and the comments. They are all so true! I stumbled onto your blog when I was researching information about the Ferber method. We Ferberized our daughter at about 4.5 months BEST.DECISION.EVER. If anyone’s considering taking the Ferber plunge, do it. You won’t regret it! Annnyway, I am a first time mom and my daughter is 7.5 months old. The first four months were very, very hard. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I had no idea how hard it was going to be. Thankfully around 5-6 months things seemed to dramatically improve (I think Ferber had a lot to do with it). What gets me is when I see new moms post pictures of their 1 or 2 month old on Facebook with the caption of “We couldn’t be more in love.” I always think, “you’re lying.” Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter, but those first couple months, I loved her because I HAD to not because I wanted to. I love it when moms speak honestly about having a baby (especially a new baby). When all you see and hear is “We couldn’t be more in love” and you don’t feel that way, you start to think there’s something wrong with you. Then begins the landslide of anxiety, fear, guilt, and loneliness. I am happy to report that I can now put myself in the category of “We couldn’t be more in love”-most days anyways :). Things really do get easier and more fun. Thanks for all your support!

    • 21

      I’m so glad you had success with Ferber. It totally changed our life too, and it was all the difference in those very difficult months (after 4 mos old). I agree with everything you said… feeling guilty about not feeling “soooo in love” with your newborn and having all those conflicting emotions. But now, you can sit back and be in love, admire, appreciate and still get exasperate too ;)

  6. 22

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s so nice to read that I am normal. Loving your blog and all your tips and quips. Thank you for the lift!

  7. 23

    Perfect.

  8. 24
    Hannekemom says:

    I love you! Great friend, great insights, great article!
    BTW, that’s an Ergo carrier in a pattern that’s discontinued! :-(

  9. 25

    What carrier is she using? :)

  10. 26
    Georganne says:

    Thank you so much. I love your honesty. I had the exact same feelings that you did for the first 4 months of my son’s life. I wasn’t diagnosed with PPD, but hormones, combined with a colicky baby, plus friends whose babies were perfect angels that slept/ate/did everything by the book, and a well-meaning mother who constantly asked me “Isn’t he just the love of your life?? Can you even imagine life without him??”…made me feel like the worst mother ever. Because yes, I remembered life before him and it was quiet. And I slept. And I showered and ate a full meal. And my boobs weren’t sore. I kept to myself my feelings of thinking we made a mistake having a baby. I felt awful for wishing the time away, for wishing that he was like every “other” baby. He just turned one year old and today he is the love of our lives. He brings so much light and joy to the everyday. It does get easier, but it’s always hard. Instead of lack of sleep hard, it’s tantrum hard (But that’s a whole other post! ; ). But that’s parenthood. A constant roller coaster of emotions. So thank you thank you for speaking so openly about it. I don’t think enough people do.

  11. 27

    I have wanted a baby for as long as I can remember. When he arrived I thought I’d take to it like a duck to water but I was overwhelmed by all the feelings you described and thought I was ‘unnatural’ Then you talk to other Mums it’s such a relief to know they’re 100% normal. Hurrah for squishy, lovely, grumpy, screamy newborns. The first time they smile at you it’s like you’ve won at life. X

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