Keepin' it Real. IRL with an IRL newborn.•
Posted on September 01 2019
We meet pregnant women, and new moms, day in and day out, IRL. No filters, no apps.
Today one of them said, of being a new mom "This is wonderful,I love her more than I imagined possible, but there's a lot of other things that I didn't imagine!Like,, no wonder my cousin suggested an app to make me look better! I thought I knew that I wouldn't sleep but...."
Things you might not "get", until the baby is actually born:
You've loved before, but never like this.It's just different.
Your hormones have never looked like this before, overjoyed one minute, then weeping the next. Baby blues are a real thing. Post-partum depression is a real thing. Talk to people-family, friends and professionals. You will get through this.
Birthing a baby via the "traditional" exit route leaves you swollen in a way that you couldn't really imagine, which is just as well. Someone came in the other day and said "I reached down and I was like 'OMG, there' a softball in there!"
Sleep, yeah, you are like everyone else, you think you understand and imagined sleep deprivation... until you've had a baby, then, yeah, it's not what you imagined.
You might be terrified. More than anything else, you do not want to do this wrong, to let this baby down. It's okay. You won't. I mean, they will fall in life, you may even drop them (Okay, the odds are really good that you will, like 99 to 1 odds.)
Do you remember that campaign for queer youth-the It Gets Better campaign? We really think that someone should start an "It Gets Better" for New Parents.
The sh*t is real. Here are some tips that help.
Get out, no matter how awful you feel. Get some sunshine-it's good for you and baby on so many levels, get out and get some Vitamin D
Get out and get some IRL interactions-even with just the barista or the understanding staff at the maternity shop. If you're nearby, we're here for you, but, if you've been in the shops, you know that:). Oxytocin levels increase.
Ask a loved one for a hug. Or, heck, like above, stop by the shop, we've hugged more than a few exhausted grateful new moms! Not only do hugs increase oxytocin, but they also reduces cardiovascular stress and can improve the immune system.
Take a bath. Just can't sleep when the baby sleeps? Take a bath instead. Want a little relaxing with baby-take a bath together.
Let other people take the baby. Many moms are afraid that even their own mother can't take proper care of their baby. Baby will be fine. They're little survival machines, and you mama, you are life support. take down time where you can.
Get whatever apps help-whether they make you look thinner, or saner. And delete the ones that give you any stress or anxiety or in any way shape o form make you feel less than the ideal parent that you are.
It gets better. You get through.
You're the perfect parent for your baby. You will make mistakes. Plenty of them. It's okay. You're human, it's a good thing to be. Try to be kind to yourself, and let go of being perfect. Your child will learn that you're not perfect. That's okay, I mean, unless you are perfect, in which case, well, hmmm.
Our experience, IRL, for ourselves and for almost every parent who comes in with a baby, is that the first 3 months are hard. Just that. Know it. Expect it. And know that you get through it.
Before you know it, they're toddlers! Rinse. Repeat. Then kindergarten. Then...
The sooner you learn to accept yourself and your imperfections, the better equipped you will be to handle...a teenager, because that is where this is going eventually, and you've got plenty of time to practice!
Think you're alone? You're not.
We thought of our IRL new mom customers who had been in the reserves and told us that parenting a newborn was harder than being deployed when we read this in The New Yorker, and if you missed it, we're sure you wouldn't want to miss it.
3:32 A.M. AND I AM SURE THE INFANT IS TAUNTING ME
The Navy seals do a thing
so I have heard.
Days and nights
with almost no sleep.
Pushed to their limit.
Except it only lasts five days.
This makes me laugh
as I stand holding you
in the bathroom
in my underwear
and spit-up-covered T-shirt
with the shower running.
like the sound of the water.
But you won’t go to sleep.
And this is the third time you’ve been up
looking at me
like an instructor at seal training
waiting for me to crack.
I laugh again at what weenies
the Special Forces are.
Get a baby! I think.
Take an infant baby into combat, why don’t you!
Except I say that last part out loud.
And notice my wife standing at the door.
Give me the baby, she says quietly.
I look at my darling
who spits up on me again
and appears to mouth dickhead.
I am sure of it.
By John Kenney
Have an IRL #itgetsbettermom story? Share it with us @momsthewordstyle.