Go easy on yourself.
Because it can be hard.
What you are doing is hard.
But you don’t have to be hard on yourself.
Please be gentle.
With your thoughts, your words, your actions.
Be softer with yourself.
Please be softer.
Embrace the soft new skin you find yourself in, as much as you do the perfectly soft skin you rock in your arms.
Support yourself as you lay on the soft sheets, or beds, or couch feeding life all day.
And please give yourself some grace.
Because where you find yourself now is completely new.
Everything is new.
Your baby, your body, your purpose.
Remember that you are not meant to have any idea about what you are doing.
Because you have never done this before.
No classes, or books or well-intended advice can ever really prepare you for where you are.
You are in the deep end.
Of nappies, and breast pads, bottles, swaddles, bassinets, and mesh underwear.
Of no sleep.
Of lots of tears.
The tears will come.
Maybe they haven’t yet.
But they will at some point.
You may feel like you’re drowning in them sometimes.
And that’s ok.
That’s perfectly normal,
Tears are normal.
Crying is such a great release.
So let the flood gates open.
And embrace the tears when they fall.
Catch them on your lip and swallow them.
That’s what giving everything and being everything tastes like.
That’s the flavour of feeling so deeply, so vulnerably, so wholly.
Then keep swimming.
Because the shallows will come.
You can rest there.
And things will feel easier then.
You will have good days, and nights.
And there will always be the most intense love you have ever felt rippling through it all.
A love like no other.
A love that keeps you going.
It always does,
Even when the fourth trimester is over.
This sort of love never stops.
But remember to always ask for help,
No matter where you are in the pool.
Because we all need a village.
We are not meant to do this alone.
And if help can’t or doesn’t surface,
Know that you are not alone.
Others around the world are with you in the darkness of sleep deprivation, feeling just the same way.
Yo-yos in the night, slow movers in the day.
Wading through, surviving as best they can.
We are all just surviving,
Surviving it together.
And don’t forget how much you have been through.
Your body has been through so much, mentally and physically.
It’s no wonder you are exhausted, and feel out of sorts sometimes.
It needs time to heal, but there is not the time.
There’s never enough time.
That’s how it can feel anyway.
So please try and make time.
You need to make time for you.
Because you are important, so important.
They need you to be ok.
And when that self-doubt and guilt sets in,
Because it always will, some days.
Don’t forget that you are the mother your baby needs.
Exactly as you are,
However you feel at any given time,
No matter what.
You won’t be perfect, but you are their perfect.
And that’s something to be so proud of.
Go easy on yourself,
You may have had your first baby, but they have a first mother too.