The other day we posted this photo to Instagram:
The caption read: “If we could give one piece of advice to our brand new mama selves it would be to stand up straight. Today, tomorrow, next month, next year – every part of you wins when you stand up straight. Your back, your abs, your tits, your shoulders, your lungs, your confidence… so go – roll your shoulders back and lengthen yourself from the bottom of your pelvic floor to the top of your head – don’t let that crown fall off, girl.”
Immediately after I hit “Share,” I started to think – What other things do I wish I could go back and tell my new mama self? OMG that poor girl had no idea what she was getting herself into. And to make it worse, she was so hellbent on getting it all right. She was so worried and hopeful and naive. She struggled to find her footing in a new world that seemed oddly sterile and cold and filled with people who spoke in euphemisms and tried to convince her that her new life would be only about her kids and that she’d just learn to love (live with?) the role.
Oh how I wish I could just have one quick pep talk with her – right at the beginning – to tell her this:
Nobody can never comprehend how hard something is until they experience it for themselves.
Attempt to grasp this concept as early as possible in your journey from maidenhood to motherhood, especially if you’d like to make it through to the other side with your sanity in tact.
People need to know what your reality looks like – so either you’re going to have to be honest AF with everyone, OR you’re going to have to give them a real-life glimpse into the grind. In order to do this, though, you’re going to need to let people in – get over your ego and accept help whenever you can. Accept it from your dad, your mother-in-law, your mom, your friends. Accept it from your PARTNER (slash forcibly give it to him, depending on the situation). Tell someone when you feel depleted and go get your head right again.
Take a 30 min shower (that’s where all the thinking and breathing happens after all). Plan a dinner with your friends. Get out of town for a weekend. It doesn’t matter. Just step awayyyyy for your family for a minute.
And when the guilt begins to set in (and it will), remind yourself that everybody who loves and cares for your child is capable of lovingly caring for your child. So let the fear go, and know that what your doing is good for you, good for your kid, and good for the other people who want to play an active role in their life.
And when you’ve finally scored the time to yourself to recharge. RECHARGE. Don’t spend all your time talking about the kids and looking at their photos and SHOWING people their photos (oy). Be present. Be in your body. Be in the moment. Get deep into it. Laugh hard. Feel ALIVE. This isn’t about irresponsibility. It’s about JOIE DE VIVRE! So go! Enjoy! And then bring all of those high vibes back home where everyone gets to really benefit from them.
And as you’re moving through all the motions outlined above… remember to stand up straight. Press your shoulders back and take a deep breath and remember who the fuck you are. Be proud of who you are, and of what your body has done, you gorgeous warrior queen. Werq.
Illustration by @littlelungdesign
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