Dear New Mom,
I'm not going to tell you how I gave birth, and if I nursed my babes or bottle fed them. I'm not going to tell you about all the night feedings or how to get your baby to sleep. I'm not going to tell you when to start solids or when my babies started walking and talking. I'm not going to tell you what stages and ages were difficult and what were heavenly.
I won't tell you about the pains and struggles and heartaches that motherhood brought me along the way. I won't tell you about the moments that my soul felt full or my heart felt dark. I won't tell you about my screams and cries or joyous cherished memories of each moment that motherhood hit me fast and hard. I won't go on and on about those hilarious things that will happen as your children grow.
Nope. I won't.
I won't talk about the years flying by, or the way your child will grow so fast you won't remember those blurry early years. I won't talk about how this helped me and that hurt me, and how I felt through each trying season of the mystery of this miraculous journey. I won't go on and on about the beauty of it all, or the desperation a mother can feel for her child who is hurting. I won't share those cherished moments of revelation and wondering, of questioning and confidence, of confusion and clarity.
No I won't.
I won't go into deliberate detail of my story, because that serves only me. Your story is all your own. Your baby will bring you your own precious story. Yours will be as unique as each human being that comes into this world, and you will care for your baby like no other mother cares for hers.
I won't let you compare my notes, my opinions, my experiences, my emotions, my challenges, and my triumphs. Because they are only mine, not yours to go by.
What I will tell you is this...
You have set forth on a mission that will create something entirely yours. It is between you and your precious child. You will grow into this relationship in your own way, and discover the art of parenting and caring for another soul in your own time with your own gifts to offer.
You will slide down your own mountains and claw up your own cliffs. You will free fall into tundra that is completely unknown to you, and you will grapple thoughts through twisted turns along the way. You will set out on vast terrain, and dive into trenches and carry heavy burdens up many hills and feel the intensity of the weight you bear. You will become a heroine in your own right, through all that you endure and all that you become for your child. You will rise in victory over unpredictable battles, and you will discover an entire universe of strength and sacrifice that you did not know you had. Your world will change completely and entirely for the better.
You have been given a gift and a purpose like no other. You, are the only mother like you in all the world. And your child is like no other child in all the world. Remember that, always. Listen to other people, if you'd like. Learn from others and take in their words. But always know...
You are the author of your own motherhood story. There is none like you. Believe in this truth and hold it tight when the gushing river of voices comes at you with well-meaning words. You may not feel like you know how to do this thing, you may question your every move. But I promise you that the only advice you will ever need is this:
You know best.
Believe it, Dear New Mom.
Oh, believe it.
I am contributing to the I'm So Glad They Told Me (#sogladtheytoldme ) campaign, inspired by Stephanie Sprenger over at Mommy For Real.