Postpartum Advice for New Moms: 9 Things I Wish I’d Known After Giving Birth

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Becoming a new mom isn’t easy, and after serious trial and error, I realized it’s not about being perfect. It’s about survival and doing your best. Here are my 9 postpartum pieces of advice for new moms.

Don’t drown in it.

Every little stage your baby goes through will feel like a riptide, like forever—I don’t know why this happens.

Maybe because for your baby, that week of cluster feeding is forever. Maybe, because your baby is stuck to you like Velcro, and your nipples are chafed, and you’re pretty sure you’re never going to sleep again, you absorb his sense of time.

Maybe it’s some hormone-fueled, survival of the fittest, DNA code to make sure you take your baby’s needs seriously.

But pretty soon, your baby won’t be cluster feeding. He will be teething. Refusing naps. Calling you poopy. You will hear yourself say things like, “Please take your penis out of the windowsill.”

Take each stage seriously, but don’t drown in becoming a mother.

Here’s my list of parental insights and advice to new moms — the ultimate things I wish I had known after I gave birth.

9 Things I Wish I’d Known After Giving Birth (Postpartum advice for new moms)

       1. Love your boobs as they are.

For awhile, your boobs will be out. All. The. Time. Your boobs will see more sunlight than you do. Warm, sticky milk will drip down your belly and you’ll feel like the stump of an ice cream cone in July.

This too shall pass, but for awhile, you’re going to feel like quite the centerfold.

From National Geographic.

2. Do what works. (And don’t care about the judgers.)

Let your baby sleep in a swing or in your bed or his car seat, if that is where he will sleep. You are not a failure if you don’t hand-mash organic baby purees. It is okay to make things easier for yourself. There are very few irreversible decisions regarding sleeping and eating patterns in these first months and years.

Your child will not head off to college still needing to sleep in a lamby swing. (They don’t make them that big—I checked.) He will not be all droopy with malnutrition if he refuses to eat anything but bagels for a week. Or a month.   

3. You are not alone. Seriously!

Other mothers struggle, too. They flicker like candles, awake in the night in a thousand bedrooms, in the past, in the future, right now. They hunch over their babies, nursing. They are limp and worn, like wrung out washcloths.

Remember them when you are up in the night for the fifth time. When your baby won’t stop crying; when you can’t stop crying. You are already a successful mother.

4. Take a time out. Give yourself a self-care break.

Take time to yourself. Often. Beg, barter or pay someone to watch your child. Go to yoga. Go for a walk. Go to a movie. Your baby doesn’t need you present but drained, a mom zombie. A mombie.

See also: How to Maintain Your Yoga Practice After Having a Baby

Your baby needs you to be okay. Your baby needs you to be you. Needing time to yourself does not mean you are trying to get away from your baby.

Okay, so you are totally trying to get away from your baby. That is okay. Find a way to do some of the things that keep you sane and happy. Your baby needs you sane and happy.

5. It’s OK to ask for help.

Ask your partner for help. He/she does not mean to just sit there in a chair playing Mortal Kombat. They will eventually show more interest in the baby, when it can giggle and hug and play tackle football. But for now, they need you to tell them you need help.

Ask.

When you do, don’t tell them how to care for your child. Or tell them, but then let it go. He/she will probably watch Pulp Fiction with your baby. They will let your precious little one gnaw on pizza crusts like a junkyard dog. Your baby will be okay on both counts.

Then, leave the house.

See also: Are you a slave to attachment parenting?

If you don’t, your partner will rise from their chair like Zeus. They will find you, and they will suggest that the baby needs milk. Even though you just nursed him.

6. Cleaning is overrated.

Your house will still be messy in five years. I am sorry, but it’s true. So when your baby sleeps, take a nap. Read a book. Masturbate. Look at pictures of clean houses on Pinterest. Look at pictures of clean houses on Pinterest while you masturbate.

But don’t clean.

7. Find your tribe.

Find other moms who admit that it’s not all baby powder and bliss. Playdates were not invented to over-schedule and socialize your child. They exist so you can admit that you yelled, “For the love of God, will you just freaking sleep?” at your six-month-old this morning. That you plopped your son in front of Elmo for several hours yesterday afternoon when it rained and rained and rained and he wouldn’t nap. 

8. Be a hater.

And those moms who appear to have it all together? The size six supermoms who appear perky and well-rested? The ones who haul big designer diaper bags brimming with healthy snacks and water and sunscreen and extra outfits and hand sanitizer?

It is okay to wish them small misfortunes, like fecal incontinence or eye herpes.

9. Trust that you are on your way. You are already a great mom.

Listen: I know you feel like you’re doing it all wrong; I know the stakes feel so high and all the other moms look like they know what they’re doing.

Take a break from reading books and blogs about how you’re supposed to be raising your child. Your baby is reasonably clean and growing.

See how he melts into your shoulder and falls asleep?

How when you actually go to the grocery store all by yourself, you find yourself standing in line gently swaying, as if he were still on your body?

And you smile at the mom with a baby about the same age in the next line and your milk lets down and you feel like Hey, I’m missing something, did I forget my keys? 

And then you realize that what is missing is your baby. You are already a successful mother.

You are doing just fine.

 

~

Bonus: How to Get Children to Eat Vegetables Using School Gardens:

Relephant Reads: Postpartum Dad Depression.

5 Simple Ways that Even You Can Support a New Mama Today!

Recovering Postpartum: To Yoga or Not to Yoga.

Ayurveda Q&A with Dr. John Douillard: Pregnancy and Postpartum Health

 

Like elephant family on Facebook.

 

Ed: Bryonie Wise

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Lynn Shattuck

Lynn Shattuck lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and two young children. She blogs about parenting, imperfection, spirit and truth telling—you can connect with her through her website or find her on Facebook.

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anonymous Jun 29, 2014 11:02pm

As a holistic nutritionist I cannot help but point out that it actually really really matters what you feed your baby during these early years and I think that if you are going to choose one area to focus less on during these demanding times don't make it nutrition. It is crucial that both parents focus on preconception nutrition if possible and be very informed about what is the best way to feed a baby during their early years in order to allow them to have a chance at having optimal genetic expression, which will help them throughout there life in countless ways. It is probably the best gift that parents can give kids. Check out Sally Fallon's Book about infant nutrition and Dr. Weston Price's book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration to learn about how IMPORTANT this piece is. Eating bagels for a month is really a bad idea for babies. Also, the piece about it being okay to be a hater towards mom's who make a strong effort to do a good job is really immature. Please consider not thinking of your fellow sisters that way. Wishing them ills because they care? Really? I find that sickening. Instead maybe consider admiring and striving to learn from them if they have anything of value to share.

    anonymous Nov 22, 2014 8:05pm

    Let me guess: you’re not a parent, are you? While I understand that an emphasis on nutrition is obviously of utmost importance, it’s not as easy as giving them avocados and beans and calling it a day. You can’t force a child to eat anything; you do, and you’re setting the stage for serious eating issues later in life. While we can try and create meals that are both healthy and kid-friendly, we also have to choose our battles. Should we starve our children if they refuse to eat the healthy options we offer? And in the midst of dealing with yet another food fight, we might have other children needing something or demanding our attention.

    It’s not as cut and dry as you assume it is. While the author may have been exaggerating in her statement about eating bagels for a month? Your idealist attitude isn’t on target either. I find it extremely hard to believe you’re a parent, and if you are, I cringe thinking of the enormous therapy bills you’ll incur when your own kids have to face the inevitable food issues they’ll face living in a home that’s so incredibly food-centric. I have three sons, and I’m currently breastfeeding our youngest. My first weaned at 2.5, my second at 3 while I was pregnant with our third baby. Our youngest is six months, and we introduce foods through baby-led weaning. BOTH my oldest and middle sons started solids around 7-8 months and I began with avocados, beans, kale, etc. We offered ALL healthy foods, as recommended by Nina Planck in her book Real Food for Mother and Baby (I also followed her recommendations while pregnant and in preconception). Would you like to know what my boys want now, after providing them with nothing but healthy options in their infancy and toddlerhood? Pizza, macaroni and cheese, and avocados.

    They’re human beings with free will, and making anything off-limits or taboo just makes them want it that much more. Everything in moderation is my motto, and avoid being gluttonous in any aspect of life. I’m a mother of three, and after 8 years of parenting, I’ve learned that trying to force my child into any mold just makes him scoff at any of my suggestions. So yes, while I agree that nutrition is important, I’m also realistic about it. That’s where you failed in your comment, Melina.

      anonymous Jan 29, 2015 11:14pm

      Well said Tricia!
      I am not yet a parent but I am pregnant. I went into pregnancy full of the wonderful intentions to eat an immaculately well balanced diet. However these intentions soon slammed into the semi-truck of reality, which in my case was just eat something that stays down. I imagine that feeding my little one will take on some of the same characteristics. New parents face a lot of external and internal pressures to achieve instant perfection in a very challenging role. These pressures can create a lot of stress that is damaging to health and relationships.

      The authors point is just to chill and not get caught up in meeting relentless expectations. Maybe your baby will love your kale and carrots concoction, or maybe they will toss it across the room and paint the wall with it. Either way, just keep moving forward and remember to enjoy the ride because just like everything in life it passes so quickly, and there is no going back. So whether you are a parent or not this is advice that we can all heed.

      As for the hater comment – it was meant as a joke. I find it funny how folks get all up in arms about "judgement". I don't care who you are, you have inappropriately judged someone – and that is ok! It is a natural side effect of our strange and wonderful natures. Embrace it, laugh and move on.

anonymous Jun 29, 2014 4:02pm

I really liked this article and appreciated it because I have a 3 month old… UNTIL I got to the part about saying it's ok to "be a hater" because honestly what does that accomplish? Does it make you feel better to resent someone because they appear to have it all together? I doubt it, I bet it either makes you feel worse or achieves nothing altogether. If you haven't spoken to a mom that looks as though they have it altogether, you might find that they have other issues, like maybe they struggled to get pregnant, or they can't breastfeed, or (the possibilities are endless) …. The point is to be careful and compassionate because you don't know what someone else's journey is about.

anonymous Jun 29, 2014 9:40am

Thanks for writing this, needed to hear this today.

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 11:18pm

Loved it! I am a mom to twin boys and when I went through the phase, it was hell! I questioned my whole existence and thought I was the worst person living on the earth. Things changed when I could talk to like minded people and assured that my feelings were absolutely sane!

anonymous Feb 9, 2014 11:54am

I had my son when I was 16. I tried so hard and it never seemed like enough. Even now…15 years later. Thank you. I wish I had read this back then. <3

anonymous Feb 8, 2014 1:31am

Don't compare, at all. Not even to talk about how annoying those 'designer moms' are. Because that's comparing. And they're moms, like you are. Isn't it great you're both enjoying the highs and lows of your new little ones?

anonymous Feb 6, 2014 11:00pm

OMG, I loved this sooooo much. Hilarious, and ohhh so true. Thank you ! <3

anonymous Feb 2, 2014 6:55pm

I'm not even a mom yet but I love this. Great things for me to think about when I do have kids someday.

anonymous Dec 29, 2013 6:26am

It’s been 14 and 18 years since I was post -partum (last time was with twins). Every word of this article is true!!! If it makes anyone feel better about a year ago my house started staying clean for a day at a time and my chronic exhaustion lifted! They really do grow up tho no one could have convinced me of that when there were Goldfish crumbs in every nook and cranny of my car. Great article!!!

    anonymous Jan 13, 2014 7:56pm

    Laura, it's good to know that the exhaustion lifted, even if it took about 13 years! : )

anonymous Nov 21, 2013 1:37am

i am Stella and i want to thank Dr.agbadi olu for bringing back my ex boyfriend, we broke up for more than 8 month and he told me that he will never want to see me in his life again. i love him so much to the extend that i could not think of dating any man again, i was confused and depress due to the love i had for him.i did everything i could do to have him come back to me but all went in vain. so i decided to contact a spell caster, i did not believe in spell casting i just want to try it may be it would work out for me. i contacted Dr agbadi olu for help,and he told me that he have to cast a love spell on him, i told him to do it. after 5 days my boyfriend called me and started to apologize for leaving me and also he told me that he still love me. i was very happy and i thank Dr agbadi oul for helping get back my ex back to my hands. his spell is the greatest of all over the world, it was the love spell he cast on my ex that make him come back to me. all you ladies who want back their ex back i want you to contact Dr.agbadi olu for the return of your ex boyfriend and also your ex girlfriend he can also cast any kind of spell you want him to cast for you. his contact email is [email protected] just try him and their will be a solution to your case.

anonymous Nov 21, 2013 12:39am

i am Stella and i want to thank Dr.agbadi olu for bringing back my ex boyfriend, we broke up for more than 8 month and he told me that he will never want to see me in his life again. i love him so much to the extend that i could not think of dating any man again, i was confused and depress due to the love i had for him.i did everything i could do to have him come back to me but all went in vain. so i decided to contact a spell caster, i did not believe in spell casting i just want to try it may be it would work out for me. i contacted Dr agbadi olu for help,and he told me that he have to cast a love spell on him, i told him to do it. after 5 days my boyfriend called me and started to apologize for leaving me and also he told me that he still love me. i was very happy and i thank Dr agbadi oul for helping get back my ex back to my hands. his spell is the greatest of all over the world, it was the love spell he cast on my ex that make him come back to me. all you ladies who want back their ex back i want you to contact Dr.agbadi olu for the return of your ex boyfriend and also your ex girlfriend he can also cast any kind of spell you want him to cast for you. his contact email is [email protected] just try him and their will be a solution to your case.

anonymous Nov 20, 2013 9:14pm

My baby is 3 weeks old and I read this every night. It makes me cry every time. It is beautiful and so needed. Thank you.

anonymous Nov 15, 2013 10:53pm

Thank you do much for this! I now am a self-diagnosed mombie, and I laughed all the way through this. How refreshing and great writing. I used to write myself and maybe I could for you someday!

Thanks again from this new follower and instant fan.

And by the way my babies are 18 months and 3 months. This literally helped save my sanity 🙂

anonymous Nov 15, 2013 8:42am

I agree … For the most part.

However, to “hate” on the Mother with the small waist and designer baby bag seems a bit high school. What you don’t see is that mother – at home – feeling alone and out of control. She might be cleaning to gain a sense of her home, her space and her life back. She might have a small waist because she exercises to feel good again. A good mother can “seemingly” have her life “together.” She can have a clean house and a happy baby. There is no need to divide ourselves as mothers – society is more than happy to do that for us. Oxox to all Mums and how they choose to raise their babes and themselves

anonymous Oct 24, 2013 4:09am

I was hugging my husband in front of a movie the other day when IJ had gone to sleep. He turned to me and said "are you trying to make me go to sleep?" and I said "No, why?"

"Because you've been patting my bottom for the last 5 minutes."

    anonymous Oct 25, 2013 1:08pm

    Haha! That is awesome. 🙂

anonymous Oct 22, 2013 3:14am

It is 2 am here and I just finished feeding my baby. Though he is almost 5 months. He wasn’t interested in eating his puréed carrots and other mushy stuff at dinner and I just knew he would wake early and be hungry. This was a great article to come across and was laughing so hard I was crying because it is do true. And it was what I needed to hear from someone other than my mother. Thank you! Kerry

    anonymous Oct 22, 2013 6:01pm

    Thanks Kerry! Loved your line about needing to hear it from someone besides your own mom! 🙂

anonymous Oct 18, 2013 2:57pm

Thank you so much for posting this…I have said so many times that us, women kind sometimes do ourselves no favors at all…when we try to portray motherhood as something that is easy! Babies that sleep through from a week old! Babies that never cry! Babies that don't need to be held from morn til dusk….I am sure that they exist but I don't believe that they are the norm!
I do believe that we would be so much happier if we could just accept and surrender ourselves to parenthood! Thank you for such an honest account <3

anonymous Oct 16, 2013 3:27pm

this makes me not want to have children.

anonymous Oct 16, 2013 2:24pm

This is such a great article. New moms wallow in between so many emotions – guilt, tiredness, stress, happiness, sadness, content…I agree with all your points:)

    anonymous Oct 16, 2013 5:18pm

    Thanks, Ali! Glad you enjoyed.

anonymous Oct 16, 2013 11:47am

OMG..incredible!!! i have not laughed so hard in a while!!! I have a 10 month old and I am totally feeling it!!!

anonymous Oct 13, 2013 10:54am

This is beyond amazing. Where wa this a year ago when I really needed it?!?!?!

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 4:39pm

Really lovely, except for the focus on breasts.
Some of us aren’t breast feeders (whether by choice or in my case due to two abscesses) and so my baby isn’t attached to my breast and my milk doesn’t let down when I see another baby his age. But I feed him with every ounce of love from my body and when I see other babies and he’s at home with dad, I have to use every ounce of self control not to leave the shopping trolley in the aisle and run home immediately. So good for those that breastfeed, but formula mums love their babies just as much and are up in the middle of the night feeding/rocking/loving.
Just saying.

    anonymous Oct 16, 2013 5:18pm

    Great point, Skye. There are many reasons why people can't or choose not to breastfeed. No judgment here!

anonymous Oct 11, 2013 12:04pm

Yes! And my boobs are out right now nursing my 1 month old. Thank you for such a great read.

anonymous Oct 8, 2013 4:29pm

Yes, this, exactly is what I went through with my babies and what my childbirth ed. students will go through. Thank you for articulating it so well.

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 11:42am

As a very soon to be Father this feels spot on and I will share with my wife. Thanks

    anonymous Oct 7, 2013 7:36pm

    Oh, thank you, Carl! Congratulations to you and your wife.

anonymous Oct 2, 2013 5:13pm

Best. article. on. elephant. journal. yet! Thank you so much for sharing what every new mom is feeling. It often feels so lonely and such a daunting prospect of having to care for these precious, yet intimidating little creatures. This article was perfect! Thank you!

    anonymous Oct 3, 2013 7:40am

    Carrie, thank you so much! Best. Compliment. Ever!

anonymous Oct 2, 2013 3:42pm

I like so much of the message of this blog post, but I beg you all to not be haters. I don't want to get all hippy dippy love, blah, blah, blah…but what mama's need is to love each other and support each other. Being a mom is HARD. SO, SO HARD. Hating someone else for what they "have" isn't going to make you feel any better. It's going to make you feel worse. Once I let go of hating the mothers who had nannies and house keepers and vacations to Hawaii and Disneyland and new minivans and rockin bodies and nice clothes and good food and well behaved kids and clean, nice smelling hair and houses big enough for everyone to fit in, I was finally happy. For real.

Some days, I am the mom with the well stocked bag of organic home made snacks…and some days I am using the sleeve of my shirt and spit to wipe the stale pop tart from my kids face. I hope no one hates me on either one of those days. I am doing the best I can. I hope moms can see beyond all the superficial stuff and be happy for one another. If you have it all together today I won't hate you. I'll say 'rock on sista'. It's good to see people happy.

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 6:22pm

    I agree Shay! I actually wrote a follow-up post to this entitled "Don't be a Hater: What I Should've Said." The paragraph you mention was meant to be a joke, but as I realized and got feedback, you are absolutely right. The last thing us moms need is more competition, even in a jokey way. Thanks!

    anonymous Oct 11, 2013 6:24am

    Amen!

anonymous Oct 2, 2013 1:50pm

This is spot on! Had my third 8 weeks ago and I thought I had this down pat by now but no, sometimes it's still hard. I needed to read this to remember.

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 6:20pm

    Congrats on number three! My best to you and your family.

anonymous Oct 1, 2013 5:19pm

YES! YES! YES! My life changed drastically as I have a 2 yr old, a 3 yr old and one due in December. I felt all this and more. Still do some days carrying this one when I see others with 4 stair stepped like mine that seem to have it all together. It’s why I started writing journals again and blogging. Still haven’t figured that time to myself thing as I traded in my corporate digs for stay at Homs duty. But everyday it does feel a little easier. I have to remind myself baby steps baby steps. So thank you thank you for this!!

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 1:01pm

    Jasmine, yes, baby steps for sure! Keep writing!

anonymous Oct 1, 2013 8:37am

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I want to express these exact thoughts to friends and never can find quite the words. This is wonderful, and I am printing it and saving it for when I have #2. Thank you.

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 1:01pm

    Thank you, Katie! Take good care!

anonymous Oct 1, 2013 6:17am

Thanks for the laugh! After a couple nights with barely any sleep because of a vomiting 3 week old, the comic relief was very much appreciated!

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 1:00pm

    Oh, hang in there Jessica! Hope sleep finds you soon.

anonymous Sep 30, 2013 11:43pm

I loved this article! My babies are now almost driving, and yes, I couldn't leave them even to shop or vote when they were tiny without knowing it was dead wrong for me (I took them with me instead). The note about your house being a mess for 5 years would REALLY have helped at that time, although I would have thought back then that you were just exaggerating! I am SO GLAD this message is getting into the world. Thank you!

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 1:00pm

    Thank you, Kristin! I appreciate your words.

anonymous Sep 30, 2013 10:56pm

I have just had my first child. I am still in hospital after 4 days, emergency C section due to infection. Last night, I thought I was going to run away from it all, not able to deal with the pain, the constant breastfeeding, my other half, everyone’s (conflicting) comments on how to do it all, the non-stop crying baby and the tremendous feeling of guilt…and then I read this….and I cannot say thank you enough. I have regained faith and self-confidence.

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 1:00pm

    Oh, Natalia! Thank YOU. My very best wishes for a swift recovery. I am sorry you are having such a rough start to mamahood. Take good care.

anonymous Sep 30, 2013 8:45pm

Love it, love it, and to repeat what others have said…where was this post 19 years ago when I was crying because my Aunt told me to feed my 10 day old daughter cereal because "she is hungry" ? I too, had the "What to Expect" books that I read religiously. They made me feel horrible. Ah well, this too shall pass…can't wait for the grandkids.

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 12:59pm

    Thank you, Darlene! Yes, those books definitely only skim the surface and don't factor in all the emotions we feel! Good luck with the grandkids! 🙂

anonymous Sep 30, 2013 3:54pm

I have read this and re read it over and over. I laughed, then cried. I identify with every word. I wish I had seen this after my first born. Thank you for this.

    anonymous Oct 2, 2013 12:58pm

    Oh, thank you, Pippa! Glad you identified with it! 🙂

anonymous Sep 30, 2013 10:13am

Love this !! Great read

anonymous Sep 29, 2013 8:20pm

I think some are being uptight about the be a hater section. You can be supportive while still being envious, which I think is what you were trying to get at. It’s ok to be envious of the moms who seem to have it all together and are “perfect”. You may not wish harm onto them, but you are envious. There’s nothing wrong with that. Know that no one is perfect, but if you want to make a change because you saw that quality in someone else-go for it. I love observing other moms and finding new ways of doing things, or inspiration for the way I’d like to be.

    anonymous Oct 1, 2013 5:50pm

    Thanks, Jess. I like your philosophy~ it's very realistic and balanced!

anonymous Sep 29, 2013 8:14pm

So well said. I'm venturing back into the newborn stages in a few months, and while I"m kind of scared shitless, I'm also ready for that thrill. And that sweet baby needing me. And watching them grow and learn. That is just the coolest.

    anonymous Oct 1, 2013 5:49pm

    Yes! Scared and ready sounds just right! Take good care.

anonymous Sep 29, 2013 10:28am

Yes, a thousand times yes. When I had my daughter, she was premature, I was quite experienced in taking care of children, so I didn't feel nervous about having my own, until she had a two week hospital stay before they let me bring her home, and the doctor made me feel as if something not going exactly perfect with her would land her right back into the hospital. That made me go into hyper alert status. After a few days/weeks…maybe a month? I can't remember exactly how long I kept going but living with the newborn in a one bedroom apartment where I heard every noise she made was beginning to make me twitch. One day, hubby came in, I grabbed my jacket, said bottles are in the fridge and left. I had no cell phone, I didn't make it clear where I was going, I just bolted and trusted whatever happened he'd deal for a while. Came back, I don't even know how long later, feeling much much better. This experience made me know you cannot function if you don't take time to care for yourself. Yes, I made a selfish decision, not so selfish that I harmed anyone else, just selfish enough to say, this is what *I* need right now, and my needs are actually just as important as anyone's. While I do know you put the baby's needs first, your own needs can't be pushed aside permanently, delayed for a bit, sure, but still being taken care of is important.

    anonymous Sep 29, 2013 12:05pm

    Crystal, I don't see taking some much needed time for you as being selfish, at all. On top of the "normal" hard stuff that comes with a newborn, you also had a traumatic experience. We need time. We are human and need time. I like to think that by taking excellent care of our childrens' mothers, we are teaching them about self-care, too.

      anonymous Oct 16, 2013 12:48pm

      Thanks for such a great post… I promised to read this whenever I feel low…

anonymous Sep 29, 2013 5:41am

Baby is now 21. This little bit of genius brought it all back. What I have learned in the last 21 years is that kids are resilient little monsters. Screwing up is a part of being a parent. I actually think it is a biological imperative to ensure the survival of the species. As long as you love them with your whole being –and of course feed and cloth them– they will turn out to be wonderful people. Everything else is gravy.

    anonymous Sep 29, 2013 12:03pm

    Great thoughts, Anna! I think you're right. We try and do stuff right, we overcorrect for whatever we didn't like about our own childhood, but we all mess up, and we don't get to know where we messed up until they're older. Just like we might not know what we got right until they're older.

anonymous Sep 28, 2013 8:14pm

Before I had my 5 beautiful kids I read the poem "To My Grown up Son"I was going to be the perfect parent!!Low and behold my kids now 37,36,32,30 and 24 are all grown up and looking back I still feel guilty for not having had ENOUGH time to spend with each one.I guess I was TOO BUSY keeping them alive and well!!!! I can't believe how those 37 years have passed by SOOOO FAST and how I miss these years because one does forget the really TOUGH stuff.
Just try your best and really everything will fall into place and PLEASE put yourself FIRST at times without feeling guilty because you Moms are WORTH it!!!!!

    anonymous Sep 29, 2013 12:02pm

    Great advice, Anna! I think you're right, we will forget so much of the hard stuff, just like we *sort of* forget how bad labor was!

anonymous Sep 28, 2013 7:37pm

Exactly what I needed to read right now! You should see my house, it looks like a bomb went off. I am sick and exhausted, but still feel guilty when my 2.5 yr old and 9 month old watch "too much TV" 🙂 This made my husband and I really laugh out loud! Thanks for writing it!

    anonymous Sep 29, 2013 12:01pm

    Hi Sandra. Me too– the TV is an ongoing struggle. Thanks for reading!

anonymous Sep 28, 2013 7:21pm

I know these things but needed to be firmly reminded of them tonight. So, thank you!

    anonymous Sep 29, 2013 12:01pm

    Thanks Cortney! We all need to be reminded. I know I do!

anonymous Sep 28, 2013 1:11pm

Thank you for that, its the refresher I needed. I have a super active 2 yr old and have just found out I am expecting twins so very overwhelmed. It will be ok 🙂

    anonymous Sep 28, 2013 6:06pm

    Oh, Polly, that would be very overwhelming! I hope you can find some moms in similar situations. My best to you and your family!

anonymous Sep 28, 2013 10:42am

Brilliant just brilliant, unfortunately I drowned but I’m on the up

anonymous Sep 28, 2013 7:37am

I thought that I was the only one that told the truth! My children are 16 and 19 and those days of newborns seem so long ago and yet, in a way like yesterday. I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything in the world; however, it was hard and sometimes lonely even with the help of a devoted dad. My favorite saying was "long days short years". It is so true and I am that annoying person in the grocery store line that tells a new mom this…as I ask her if she is getting any sleep and give her permission to be good to herself. I'm glad that I spent lazy days in bed with my newborn nursing and resting. I do not regret those moments.it meant that my house was a wreck and I didn't cook much, but that isn't what I remember. And I was never a size 6…

    anonymous Sep 28, 2013 6:06pm

    Nice, Betsy! I so agree with that saying about "the days are long, but the years are short." Good for you for checking on the new moms. So often, I only hear moms of older children saying, "Enjoy EVERY minute! It goes by so fast!" I know it's true, but it doesn't address how hard it feels right now.

anonymous Sep 27, 2013 3:10pm

where was this kind of honesty about 12 years ago? or even 8? yes, my kids are 12 and 8. learning as I go along. being a perfectionist didn't help either. oh, well.

    anonymous Sep 28, 2013 6:04pm

    The perfectionism is sooo hard, isn't it? My best to you, Julianna!

    anonymous Sep 30, 2013 1:16am

    There’s an excellent book “How not to be a perfect mother” that’s about 20 years old. The author’s take on motherhood she says is like a squaddie’s take on war: yes you’re committed and you are willing if necessary to lay down your life in the process but there’s no harm in the meantime in slipping some chocolate into your backpack and having a nap while someone else peels the potatoes.

anonymous Sep 27, 2013 12:44pm

This is really sweet, funny, realistic, and timeless. I speak as one who thought having duper duty was down payment for lacking the collateral of breasts, as against the time we could have equal pride in milestones like graduation. Early motherhood is distinctive, and deserves its own berth, like a crowd silently parting to reveal the chosen one.

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 12:45pm

    Curse you, autocorrect! How could you roll over diaper?

    anonymous Sep 28, 2013 6:03pm

    What a thoughtful comment. Well said, Richard!

anonymous Sep 27, 2013 11:45am

Classic piece!

anonymous Sep 27, 2013 9:18am

Thank you, I needed this today. I’m a first time mom with a five month old. Sometimes it just feels like I’m drowning. It’s good to be reminded that I don’t have to be perfect!

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:32pm

    Hi Cassie! It amazes me how many women feel the pressure to be perfect. Take good care!

      anonymous Sep 30, 2013 11:22pm

      I’m a first time Mum to a 1 year old and I can relate to ALL of this. I’ve never felt the need to be perfect, I think it’s more the perception that everyone else is having a peachy time and society tells us that it’s supposed to be ‘the best time of your life’ when in reality it’s not. It’s the hardest thing ever. The hardest thing on your relationship, the hardest thing on your mind and body. BUT, the love for my son is amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The thing is though no one talks about it, it’s almost as though it’s a sign of weakness or mental instability if you can bring yourself to say ‘I’m not coping ‘ . Plus I believe there’s not enough support for couples, a lot of the focus is on the mother’s mental health whereas the dads may need checking up on and the parents as a couple may need to be asked ‘how are YOU TWO going?’

anonymous Sep 27, 2013 5:37am

Wow! Thank you so much for this amazing and so true write! I have an 8 month old and can relate to every word written. It’s like you live at my house hehe! I loved it so much this was my seventh time reading it! Thank you again for making me smile, laugh, and touching my heart. 🙂

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:31pm

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for the wonderful compliment. My very best to you and your fam!

anonymous Sep 27, 2013 1:02am

Thank you so much for this. I so needed to hear this especially today after a night of almost no sleep with my 6 month old baby. It seems that other Mommies are SUPER MOMS and I just can't seem to crack the whole motherhood thing…lol. This gave me some perspective…thank you once again.

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:30pm

    Oh, thank you Faeza! I know I often forget that just because everyone else LOOKS like they know what they're doing, doesn't mean they do. A lot of moms feel the way you feel and the way I feel.

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 11:06pm

WOW, I ended up here because my daughter has just had a baby, and i guess this article hit a cord with her. Its amazing how you managed to impart so many well aimed parenting tips and made it funny all at the same time.
Its not often these days that people are told its O.K to feel like shit, be unkempt and zombie like in public. Its almost surreal in its simplicity.
I'm a Dad, not a mom but regardless of that gender difference, I really enjoyed the "MOM" perspective and wished that someone had read this article to me 30 years ago when my daughter was just 3 months old. It resonates because its true, every damn word. congratulations for being so wise, and wiling to admit your imperfections.

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:29pm

    Thank you Kevin! Your words were so kind. Congrats on the grandbaby!

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 9:57pm

My very wise mother (I miss her dearly!) had 9 children. She used to say that someone should check on all mothers at ten in the morning to make sure they were doing alright. She was the best ! My two children are now 41 and 33. As babies they were non-stop nursers and did not sleep through the night for ages. Thank heaven for La Leche League and other moms to talk to. Sometimes before I go to sleep at night, I am so happy that I don't have to get up with a baby. However, I do miss those days of childrearing. They went by in a flash!

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:28pm

    That's what I hear everyone says– that it goes by so fast. The irony is when you're in the midst of it, it drips by.

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 7:30pm

this seems nice and expresses some helpful sentiments for new mothers, but i (a baby-less young male, but a thoughtful and responsible one) am a bit offended by this paragraph:

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 7:25pm

Brilliant read!!!! I laughed so hard it’s all true . Now excuse me while I go masturbate to clean houses on Pinterest !!!! Lmaoooooo

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:27pm

    Haha! Have fun, Natalie! 🙂

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 2:51pm

Awesome article. I'll be pinning this one for future use once my baby arrives in a few months time. I have a feeling I'm going to need to read this from time to time and remind myself I'm doing a good job.

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:27pm

    Thanks Lis! Best of luck with the new bebe.

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 2:39pm

Thank u!!! I feel so overwhelmed sometimes and this just came to me at the right time!! I feel so much better!! Thank you, thank you!!

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:27pm

    Aw, so glad it came at the right time! Take good care.

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 2:38pm

Totally spot on, heartfelt and real. I love this kind of honesty! I'm mother to a nearly-6-year-old boy and I so needed to hear this kind of thing when I was in the midst of it. This is just beautiful: 'They flicker like candles, awake in the night in a thousand bedrooms, in the past, in the future, right now. They hunch over their babies, nursing. They are limp and worn, like wrung out washcloths.' I write about motherhood and I hope to be able to touch people as much as this article has. Thank you 🙂

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:27pm

    Thanks you! Glad you liked it.

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 11:40am

I saw this on Facebook and as a first time ever mom-to-be in four months, I am bookmarking this to read often after my little one arrives. I have a feeling your words will be my saving grace for years to come. Thank you!!

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:26pm

    Thanks Amanda! Best wishes with your impending arrival!

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 10:55am

This is possibly the best thing I ever read. I have a 8wk old and 2yr old and some days I feel like I'm doing a good job and have it all together, but other days I feel like a trainwreck. Thank you for this reminder, that we are all in this together and not to take ourselves too seriously.

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:26pm

    Thanks Nic! I feel the same way!

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 10:35am

Hi Erica! I really think the "be a hater" was only put in for comedic purposes. Remember not to take some things too seriously! Take care!

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 9:17am

You've pretty much nailed every point here. I was pretty much walking around the house topless the first few months. I was surprised at how 'un-shy' I was. I whipped out my breast as soon as baby needed feeding, even when there were other people around.

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:25pm

    Isn't it funny how modesty just flies out the window? Thanks for your comment.

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 8:57am

Excellent blog post, thank you! It had me laughing at myself and a little teary towards the end! It makes me feel better that mums everywhere are going through the same thing I am! The only thing missing is all the things you swore to do when on maternity leave , such as blog regularly, write that book that you know is just waiting within you, learn to sew… All of which never get touched due to being frazzled and sleep deprived!

    anonymous Sep 27, 2013 7:25pm

    Thanks Aurora! Good point about the maternity leave. I stayed home with my kids for the first few years, so I didn't have that experience, but I've heard it from other moms!

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 7:55am

This is just fabulous! My only little one is now three, on his way to four, and I miss the baby days (I'm told this is called "Momnesia"), but I am guilty of the swaying with no baby, and using my diaper bag as a purse. Thanks for putting everything into perspective. 🙂

    anonymous Sep 26, 2013 5:52pm

    I love the term Momnesia! I hadn't heard that one before. Thanks for your comments!

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 7:22am

Yes, yes, yes to everything but the last bit. No need to tear down other women to make yourself feel good.

    anonymous Sep 26, 2013 5:51pm

    I agree, Alicia! Thanks for your comment.

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 1:08am

omg my boys are 15 and 13 and this made me cry. All of it is absolute truth.

anonymous Sep 26, 2013 12:24am

what i had wish i'd known. was that my sexuality would be totally transformed. not in a birth canal sense. in the sensations of my hormones and my self awareness. i nurture all day, at night if there is time and space, i wholeheartedly refuse to nurture my partner, it's just not going to happen at this point in my life. i give and give and give, i love the new me that expects and demands nurturing in return. mothering has helped me discover a self centered view, as a part of my everyday selflessness. my message to others is to honour post partum and let it change you, because there is insight to be gained.

    anonymous Sep 26, 2013 5:50pm

    I think a lot of women feel that way, Lana. That's an interesting take on it!

    anonymous Sep 28, 2013 7:29am

    I felt the same way. I had ppd with no. 2. My kids are 4 and 6. But watching my husband mature into a loving father while we tackle raising our kiddos as a team has taken my marriage to a different universe. I used to think I wanted to smother him with a pillow while he snored and couldn't hear the kids cry. But sharing those memories has created a bond with him that I am so blessed to have. We want to press rewind to hold our babies again because it all goes by too fast yet it feels slow at the time. And the fact that he loves my body no matter what has helped me ease back into things even when I am too tired to participate. Lol. It gets better.

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 9:39pm

This is by far the most awesome and realistic tips i have read that made me feel good about being a new mom. So sincere and true. Keep it up!

    anonymous Sep 26, 2013 5:49pm

    Aww, thanks Claire! My best to you and your baby!

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 9:26pm

Perfection.

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 6:04pm

EXACTLY!!! my kids are grown and I have 3 grandbabies and 2 more on the way. I tell the girls (daughter and daughter-in-law) all those things. It is perfectly normal to have all those feelings. I yelled at my kids when they were babies at times out of sheer exhaustion .. then cried because I did that. Many times I wanted to just run away for 10 min and so something for ME. Being a new mommy is the hardest and most rewarding job a female can have. I tell my girls to forget about reading the parenting books (far as I can see I think they are written by people who don't have kids) and to just trust their mommy instincts … they will be right. My other piece of advise would be that NO housework of ANY kind after 8pm. That is your time. Even if you chose to just sit and watch TV or have a bath or take a pee in peace. Anything that needs to be done will still be there the next day …. don't stress over how your house looks or how you look.Enjoy the infant time as much as you can because it is gone before you know it. If there are any new grandmas out there … remind your daughters and daughter-in-laws any time they feel like it is wrong to want to drop kick their little sweet one across a football field that it is totally normal. Tell them your horror stories about how you felt when they were little (we all have those stories) Remind them to .. that someday they will be laughing about it and will be anxiously waiting to tell their stories. It is all NORMAL!! 🙂

    anonymous Sep 26, 2013 5:49pm

    Thanks Cheryl! Your kids are lucky to have an understanding, affirming mom! I LOVE your no housework after 8PM rule. I am usually too tired to do housework after 8 anyways, but I love the rule!

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 4:41pm

I needed to read this. I feel like this post found me in the abyss that is social media. Where do you live? Can we be mom friends????? 🙂

    anonymous Sep 26, 2013 5:48pm

    Haha! I'm in Maine. Take good care!

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 3:27pm

I have a 5, 3, and 2 yr old and a 5 month old. This last time around is the only one I have really enjoyed. It’s the only one I really remember! I am one of those moms who walk out of the hospital in my prepregnancy clothes, have diaper bags fully organized with toys, clothes and snacks. My kids rarely fuss in public. Why? Because my abusive stbx husband wouldn’t stand for it. Sometimes those apparently perfect moms live private hells.

Life is better now. I cosleep so I can sleep. I nurse for cuddles. I let my kids be kids. And I enjoy my mommy time as much as I can…and still look forward to bedtime at the end of the day. 🙂

    anonymous Sep 26, 2013 5:48pm

    Hi Sarah, glad you and your kids are safe now, and that life is better. Sending well wishes your way.

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 2:30pm

I read this while my almost 6 month old napped on me. This is wonderful, even the be a hater bit. I found it funny. My other new mom friends hate on me (I lost all my baby weight very easily) and I hate on them ( baby sleeps through the night, in the crib no less!) We all compare (it’s in our nature) and its good to make it funny and have a good laugh. We all need it! Signed – first time momzie

    anonymous Sep 26, 2013 5:47pm

    Thanks, first time momzie! Glad you are able to keep your sense of humor! So important.

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 12:13pm

This almost makes me okay with bearing children, haha. Thank you for some delightful, real, soul sustaining insight. Best of the best love to you.

    anonymous Sep 25, 2013 2:19pm

    Aw, thank you Katrina! Love right back to you.

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 12:02pm

Well you can’t write anything more precise than this! Wow you basically wrote everything I’ve just gone through in the past nine months with my sweet little girl. It’s a great reminder to just love them and love you. This came at the perfect time (teething!) so thank you for making me laugh and making me cry. I needed both.

    anonymous Sep 25, 2013 2:18pm

    Oh, thanks Alex! Hang in there. The teething sucks!

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 7:41am

Wow you had me up until 'be a hater'. I get that it was meant to be a bit satirical, but that part really made me sad. I often appear to have it all together, I seem perky because I'm out having fun with my daughters, I might even be well-rested. I also battled intestinal problems for years, had my colon removed when my first daughter was just 18months old, had an ostomy bag for a few months, had a second surgery to form what is called a j-pouch with my small intestine. I've had a lot of health struggles, but no I guess you wouldn't know that by just looking at me. Sooo, if you ever really wished 'fecal incontinence' upon me for appearing to have it together, than congratulations, you succeeded! Perhaps we as mothers, and as people, could try to understand that even when someone appears to have it all together they may have different struggles than us, ones that we don't see. Heck maybe they do have it all together, which is awesome. Maybe we could learn something from that mother. We're all just trying to be the best mamas that we can, and shouldn't be hated or judged for it.

    anonymous Sep 25, 2013 9:15am

    Hi Melissa. I'm so sorry that hit home for you. I replied to another commenter above that I wish I hadn't kept that section about 'be a hater' in, or that I at least wish I had reframed it to be more reflective. I completely agree that we need more support and that the judging comes from insecurity, which I am rife with. Thank you for your comment, and I'm very sorry for your health issues.

anonymous Sep 25, 2013 5:56am

i love this!!!! as a mama of 3 and 1 on the way very very soon as in days this is all very true!!! exactly what I would tell first time moms or any mom for that matter. well written <3

    anonymous Sep 25, 2013 6:59am

    Wow, congrats Chris! Thanks for your kind comment, and best of luck with your birth!

anonymous Sep 24, 2013 11:41pm

Absolutely adore this, my shining stars of diaper-ville and royalty of formula vomit are 14,12 and 7.. And I still rock my little bag of potatoes in a store. i still worry about the house and their clothes and what they eat and watch..and I keep forgetting that this all passes and that it's okay..to shut my door and scream non-sensible words into a pillow when things don't go as wonderful, or as magical as I thought it all would be..so even without a baby..thanks

anonymous Sep 24, 2013 7:24pm

I love this advice. I love all of it. Especially the bit: Don't Clean!

anonymous Sep 23, 2013 11:46pm

Beautiful and charming, thank you

anonymous Sep 23, 2013 4:29pm

Love, love, love, love this. I can relate to all of it. This is perfection.

    anonymous Sep 24, 2013 6:59pm

    Thank you so much for your comment.

anonymous Sep 23, 2013 3:49pm

I think most of this article was great, but really "Be a hater" isn't so hot. Mothers have enough going against us all without us wishing our own hate upon each other, like women who give their own girls clitoral circumsisions. And we all know very well that all the apparently well put together moms have their own issues too, perhaps like gaining enough weight after breastfeeding a toddler so we don't send ourselves to the hospital next time we're sick and lose weight we can't afford too. We mothers must stand up together, and support each other in this harsh world, and stop calling each other out when we are needed as support.

    anonymous Sep 24, 2013 6:59pm

    Erica, I totally agree with you. In retrospect, I wish I'd reframed that section to be more reflective, at the least. Thank you for your honest response.

      anonymous Sep 24, 2013 11:29pm

      agreed. i was loving the post (and wanted to forward it to my friends), until i saw that disturbingly negative advice. it soured an otherwise motivational and empowering message. thank you erica, you are completely correct. everyone of us has our own cross to bear. and, just because we can't see those crosses (that others carry) doesn't mean that they don't exist or that they are any less weighty than our own cross. thank you and bravo to lynnola for commenting and acknowledging.

        anonymous Sep 25, 2013 9:18am

        Thanks Charlie. And I absolutely agree; we all have our issues and we need to stick together instead of judging and making assumptions.

          anonymous Sep 28, 2013 7:09am

          These replies are from skinny moms. Lighten up. I gained 70 lbs with each pregnancy. Men don't make eye contact with you any more when you hold the door open to walk into the gas station. Everyone of my kids birthdays I say this is the year I will lose my baby weight. Being overweight sucks and has never been so hard to lose so seeing a happy skinny mom is frustrating. My husband laughs bc I would say skinny bitch when I would see them. It's is a very hard thing to go from hot and fit to mommified not knowing if you will ever get rid of the chicken wings or belly flap. Knowing that saving for kids college is way more important than a tummy tuck even though I go online to price shop them every so often. So have some empathy and feel lucky you are not overweight. We all have issues seen or unseen.

            anonymous Oct 3, 2013 9:43am

            Yes, but wishing fecal incontinence and eye herpes on someone because they are not visibly struggling is tasteless, over the over the top and cruel. Weight is only part of it. This is about wishing misfortune and passing judgement on people who don't meet your requirements for 'struggle.'

            anonymous Oct 13, 2013 8:09am

            I agree. People need to lighten up. Lynn was joking with the fecal incontinence. Sometimes, we just have to be negative. I too envy the skinny moms.

              anonymous Oct 22, 2013 6:15am

              negativity will never make you feel better, it only serves to hurt someone else. she may have been joking but this kind of hatred is quickly seeping into our culture and we cannot just continue to laugh it off. I like a joke as well as the next person but does it always have to be at someone else's expense? we need to be more mindful of the things we say and the way we treat other people. we teach our children everyday to be kind and not say mean and hurtful things….how can we expect it of them if this is the way we react to each other?

            anonymous Feb 1, 2014 2:12pm

            why is it because a woman is "skinny" and you are not thatthere is an issue? just because you gained weight and haven't lost it yet it makes her a villain? i have packed on serious pounds with all 7 of my pregnancies and have never sent out hate vibes to women who have not or have had a bit of an easier time losing it than i did. plus i have a daughter that has a hard time gaining weight, and she does NOT have an eating disorder, to assume that she is a "skinny bitch" is just nasty. how does that help you? do you feel better after calling names and thinking nasty thoughts about other moms because they maybe can pack a diaper bag and aren't 50 lbs over weight? after 7 kids i am pretty damn good at packing a diaper bag and seeming to have my shit together and yet i have delt with all sorts of PPD and anxiety. and i have lost the "baby weight" when some of my kids were still babies. so am i the nasty evil mom who has my stuff together who will have fecal incontance wished upon me because after 20 years of mothering i can get my shit together occasionally?

    anonymous Oct 3, 2013 8:53am

    I'm so glad you pointed this out, Erica! I felt the same way 🙁 I also appreciate, Lynn, that you acknowledged it could have been worded differently! We all have the right to change our minds and that's what matters. I just wrote my reflections on the article on my blog: http://mommemusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/one-…. I see you're a mom here in Portland, Lynn…me, too!!

anonymous Sep 23, 2013 9:39am

thank you… I felt guilty the other day for say, “For the love of God, will you just freaking sleep?” at your six-month-old this morning" other day …. thank you for putting the real back into being a mother of a baby and real expectations of yourself.

    anonymous Sep 23, 2013 6:08pm

    Thanks Laura! I never would've thought so much of my parental energy would be focused on getting little people to sleep (and to stay asleep)!

anonymous Sep 23, 2013 9:32am

Where was this advise fifty yrs ago. Brilliant

anonymous Sep 23, 2013 8:17am

Where was this post 20 years ago?! Oh ya, we didn't have the internet then, we had the "what to expect" series of books that made you feel like everyone else was a super parent, made their own organic baby food, raised super kids that were destined for med school because of your spending every waking minute of the day teaching them, nurturing them and wrapping them in a protective bubble so that they didn't maim/poison themselves…nothing has changed, except that now thanks to the WWW, more sleepless, guilt ridden Moms can get comfort and grounding thanks to glorious posts like this! Well done! The funny thing is, in a blink of an eye, I am reading this post and wishing I could save it somehow so that my now 20 year old beautiful daughter who survived and thrived despite not quite following all the "rules" will be able to find this same comfort and advice when she needs it (in like 10 or 15 years hopefully, lol…) Thank you!

    anonymous Sep 23, 2013 6:08pm

    Thank you Karen! It's interesting, the infinite amount of information online actually makes it challenging sometimes for me, because there is soooo much varying advice. But you're right, the upside is being able to connect with other likeminded moms who we never would've met otherwise. Thanks for your comment!

anonymous Sep 23, 2013 7:26am

Every last bit of this post is everything I needed to hear 19 years ago! <3 Especially the "Be A Hater" section! <3

anonymous Sep 22, 2013 7:10pm

I just delivered my 3rd child and have been thinking of writing a post just like this. You've done it so much more eloquently than I ever could – I may just have to link this post to my blog, with your permission of course.

anonymous Sep 22, 2013 4:58pm

I just delivered my 3rd child and have been thinking of writing a post just like this. You've done it so much more eloquently than I ever could – I may just have to link this post to my blog, with your permission of course.

Wonderful post. Thank you!

    anonymous Sep 23, 2013 6:06pm

    Congrats on baby #3! Sure, you can add a link to this post on your blog. I will check it out!

anonymous Sep 22, 2013 4:17pm

For years I have claimed that the reason I'm overweight is because of all the words I've had to eat since becoming a mama. Since I was 32 before the first was born, I had built up lots of words to eat! "my child will not be babysat by tv' "my kids will not be fed sugar" "I will never leave my child with a child (young sitter)" and on and on and on. Was the perfect parent before I had kids. After I had them, I learned there are no perfect parents. This was very relate-able! Thanks!

    anonymous Sep 23, 2013 6:05pm

    Haha, I love it, Ellen! Same here. The gap between the mother I thought I would be and the mother I actually am is a wide one.

anonymous Sep 22, 2013 1:15am

Read this during my daughters 1000th feed of the night on 7 hours sleep in 3 days. I have a 4yo, 2.5yo and a 3 month old. The work never ends right now. I try to remember, this too shall pass and then something else will suck just as hard. These years are trying but wonderful and I’ll be damned happy when they’re over.

    anonymous Sep 23, 2013 6:04pm

    Oh, Sarah, hang in there. I feel the same way a lot of the time. Adding to the frustration is the constant advice from moms of older children, saying, "Enjoy every single minute of it!" There is sweetness and there is also exhaustion…

anonymous Sep 21, 2013 11:11pm

Brilliant, everything. I might add on the subject of Mommy friends and play dates: Moms love to talk about how great and gifted their children are. Try not to take these comments as diggs on your baby or you as a parent. I'ts not personal as they say.

anonymous Sep 21, 2013 4:05pm

You are a wonderful and beautiful person. This is incredible, real, and full of understanding! Thank you. My son is going to turn 8 in Jan and we will welcome our new addition in May. I forgot how hard it is. It’s also nice to have some validation on how I chose to let the house go a lot more than I should because I’d rather cuddle with my 10 yr old and my 7 yr old on my day off in front of a movie than scrub my house (: take care and enjoy your babies

    anonymous Sep 21, 2013 6:07pm

    Oh, thank you Melissa! Congrats on the new baby. Yes, the house stuff will wait. Cuddles are priceless.

anonymous Sep 21, 2013 3:54pm

I'm reading this wishing I'd been able to read it 22 years ago! So encouraging…times have changed but the demands of having a new born are the same…I remember going back to work(teaching high school students) for a rest!!! Hang on in there ladies, I have the most beautiful daughter and at 16 she no longer wanted to creep in to bed with me…I actually miss that!

    anonymous Sep 21, 2013 6:07pm

    So glad you could relate! I was just thinking that this afternoon while resting with my almost-two-year-old– when she's a teenager, she's probably not going to let me snuggle her like this. Sweet moments.

anonymous Sep 21, 2013 3:52pm

I loved this. My kids are now 30, 22, 18, and I have a grandson. I completely agree. Ah the size 6 super mom, ok to hate. Ok to look at clean houses on Pinterest. Yes. Nap often. They do grow up. They leave. They have sex. It's weird and beautiful, and it goes too fast. Jesse Loren

    anonymous Sep 21, 2013 6:06pm

    Love this comment! Thank you.

anonymous Sep 20, 2013 7:12pm

A friend sent this to me bc I have a 21 month old and a 3 month old (boys) and I feel like I am drowning 99% of the time. I have a career, yet opting to be a stay-at-home-mom for now, and it is harder than any job. This was absolutely brilliant. And I never comment on things. Thank you

    anonymous Sep 21, 2013 8:51am

    Hi Annmarie. Thank you so much for commenting, especially as a never-commenter! I think many of us are struggling to keep our heads above water, we just don't admit it all the time. Hang in there– you're not alone.

anonymous Sep 19, 2013 9:04am

This is amazing and so spot on and real. I'm going to share it for sure because I know a lot of moms who need to hear this and remind themselves of all the things you just reminded me, so thank you!

    anonymous Sep 19, 2013 2:10pm

    Thank you Meg! Take good care.

anonymous Sep 18, 2013 9:41pm

I laughed, I cried, I shared this with my husband (especially about the leaving the house bit) I have a 4yo, 3yo, and a 3 week old and I 99% of the time, feel like an awful mother. There are days when my kids watch more tv than I ever thought I would allow. I nurse my baby (my first nursling) and am falling asleep the whole time. This post makes me feel normal. Thank you for it! I will be passing this along to other expectant mothers.

    anonymous Sep 19, 2013 2:10pm

    Oh, Amber, thank you! Hang in there. And yes, try to get some breaks! Be gentle with yourself.

    anonymous Oct 18, 2013 2:44pm

    Amber hang on in there lovely mumma (()) hugs to you! I bet any money that you are doing a fantastic job with your babies x x x

anonymous Sep 18, 2013 6:17pm

Exactly.

anonymous Sep 18, 2013 2:18pm

"Look at pictures of clean houses on Pinterest. Look at pictures of clean houses on Pinterest while you masturbate.

But don’t clean."

I died when I read this

anonymous Sep 18, 2013 1:18pm

Brilliant.

anonymous Sep 18, 2013 12:47pm

Awesome.

    anonymous Sep 19, 2013 2:09pm

    Thank you!

      anonymous Sep 21, 2013 5:31pm

      I looove this. And I'm a childless bachelor who never slows down enough to read about parenting…stuff. Thank you for this! ~ Waylon.

        anonymous Sep 21, 2013 6:08pm

        Oh, thank you Waylon! You just made my evening. : )