To my Oldest Friend.
On that amazing day when you told me you were pregnant I promised you that I wouldn’t give you any parenting advice. I’m about to break that promise.
We’ve always done everything together, you and I, so it makes sense that we would embark on a parenting journey together too. With two kids under my belt I feel a bit like a veteran, which is dumb, because kids will always come up with something new to excite you or worry you. You know all of this of course. You’ve held my hand and been at the end of the phone for me every time I have felt overwhelmed and needed support. You’ve held my baby for me when I couldn’t. You’ve listened to me cry and laugh and worry and be awed all in the same sentence. You’re an amazing Auntie and Godmother already so of course you will be an amazing mum, you don’t need me to tell you that.
But you do.
You see, there will be moments when you don’t feel like an amazing mum. There will be moments when you don’t feel anything but tired, worried or overwhelmed. When its dark out and it feels like the entire world is sleeping except you and your baby. When you just can’t seem to make that tiny little human happy and their cries tear through you like a knife of anxiety to the stomach. When you’re sat googling colic, and milestones and “does my baby hate me?” (yes, I did google that… several times.)
You need to know that its normal. You need to know that you’re doing a great job. You need to know that you’ve got this.
My advice to you is this.
Don’t be afraid to admit that its hard. It just makes the rest of us look bad…. Just kidding.
No one is wondermum all of the time. No one gets it right all of the time. The truth is, we’re all making it up as we go along. It’s okay to make rules and then break them the next day. It’s okay to make rules and stick to them. It’s okay to not want to be around your baby 24/7 and its okay to never want to let them go. It’s okay if you breastfeed. It’s okay if you don’t. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to not love every minute of it (no one truly likes being woken up ten times a night.) Whatever decisions you make are the right ones if they feel right.
Don’t let the internet get you down. There will always be someone who thinks that what you are doing is wrong. There will always be a parent who makes you feel inadequate. There will always be someone who looks like they’ve got their shit together better than you do. They probably don’t.
These tiny humans are amazing and wonderful and awe inspiring. Their scent fills our hearts and our heads with all encompassing love and an insanely powerful instinct to protect them against every (dare I say irrational) perceived threat. You will lose hours and days and weeks just staring into your little ones eyes and playing with their fingers. The hard bits are hard. The easier bits can be hard too, but I know you know it will be worth it.
I know you’re going to rock this. You’ve got this. Just remember, its okay.