I had a new mama reach out to me last week and after we talked she expressed that my advice was a blessing. She also said she had already shared it with another new mama and that she thought a lot of new mamas would be blessed to hear it. She encouraged me to share our conversation here. If you are tired and overwhelmed I hope our words will be a blessing to you too.
NM: What do you do on the days that you feel completely run down and defeated?
OM: Sometimes just walk around in a daze, sleep extra and cry a lot. 😉
But things that almost always help if I can make myself do them- journal, walk/run/hike, do yoga, talk to someone I trust, take a shower, step outside for awhile and take really deep breaths, solitude, a date with the hubs or just get out of the house for awhile, music, movies, sex…wine. 😉
Usually my defeat feels like total and utter failure, like my whole life is in complete shambles and I’ll have to make drastic changes to fix it. But what’s amazing about the above list is if I do them (not all of them on the same day, just pick one or a few), they usually balance me enough that I can see that my life is not in shambles, it just needs a few degrees of adjustment.
In other words, I guess, those things are like therapy and they put me back in a frame of mind that has perspective and a sense of calm and hope… And once I’m calm and hopeful again, often I will see what I need to adjust and feel the energy and inspiration to do them. Or if I still can’t see solutions I’ll talk to someone who can help me see them.
NM: Gosh you’re so wise and so in tune. I just feel like some days I need to be doing more. Like getting my son involved with other kids and doing more activities.
Not sure when I have done my best as a wife and mom. I question it daily. Today I napped both times when he did. I just feel exhausted.
OM: No, no, no more, no kids, no activities. All he needs to thrive at this point is a healthy mama. Take care of you and you take care of him.
Exhaustion is understandable, napping is wonderful!
He is still itty bitty, seasons will change, there will come a day when you will feel different than you do today with less effort. You are his everything now but the natural progression is that each year he will need you a teeny bit less.
NM: Oh I love that he needs me. Oh I love it. Sometimes I just need 5 min to hop in the shower or go to be bathroom in silence!
And having another baby stresses me out! How do you balance 2…3….4!?
OM: Yes, I rember those days well, they are so precious and the connection is amazing and it is also completely exhausting and enough to drive anyone mad! Truly! The need is so constant, it is madness.
Are you guys considering trying for a sibling soon?
You balance more kids because women are magical and we rise to the occasion, we grow as our families grow, we are adaptable creatures. There are growing pains but self-care and community help tremendously.
NM: And I don’t know when I’ll let go of nursing. It’s so comforting for me and for him.
And no no. Maybe in a year or so. What’s your kids age gaps?
OM: It is wonderful that he is still nursing! No hurry to end that if it is still positive for you both! Wonderful.
They are 3 years, 3.5 years and 2 years apart. The bigger gaps help a lot I think. By 3 they can do so much on their own and to help if you teach them.
We go from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 the same way we go from 0 to 1. We learn, we grow, we adapt. It seems impossible but then we do it. Like superheroes. 😉
NM: You’re so amazing. I so love you. I’m very excited for you to move out here. I truly would love to get more time with you once you’re out here. I crave family. So bad.
OM: Me too!! We will be there early January. Come to my house every week and rest on my couch while my kids take care of your boy .
NM: Oh how I would love that. Seriously more than you know.
OM: Don’t hesitate to text or call when you’re overwhelmed. Talking about it brings it out of the shadows. Everything is bigger and darker and scarier in the shadows.
NM: Amen amen amen. Thank you, thank you.
OM: Oh you’re welcome. I’ve had so many of those days. So many. So talking to another mom about them is no burden…just a paying back or a paying forward for all the times I’ve needed someone to walk beside me down that same road…
NM: Yes….so glad you understand.