A little optimistic reality for expectant and first-time moms

Sometimes I read posts that try to encourage young mothers by contrasting the long-term influence, joy, and blessing of motherhood with the current state of walking around as a sleepless, friendless, spit-up crusted, hardly ever attractive-or-cordial-with-one’s-husband zombie.

Women are encouraged to take heart and embrace the mess of motherhood knowing that one day they will miss these precious years.

I often wonder if those reading who have not yet had children are terrified. “I won’t shower for days? I’ll have to walk around with {fill in the blank} disgusting baby substance all over my clothes? I will growl at my husband every day when he walks in the door? My toddlers will scream uncontrollably while I try to remember these are actually the best years of my life?” Where is the exception clause?

So I felt it incumbent upon myself to tell whoever might be reading that it is not always that way.

I personally don’t think I’ve ever gone an entire day without taking a shower. Sure sometimes I would have rather it been right when I woke up and it ended up being right before I went to bed. Yes, there were things that totally fell apart after I had my first baby -namely doing dishes, making meals, and keeping laundry clean. But I wasn’t that great at those things to begin with. And little by little after the initial “black hole” post-pregnancy time, things started to come back together.

*I call about the first six weeks after delivery the “black hole.” Simply because though life still clicks along and happens, I can never remember anything about it. You look back and wonder how anything got done, but know that somehow you did eat and sleep and bathe.

I know a lot of moms, young and old, who’s lives did not completely fall apart when they had a baby.

Will there be days that are hard? Yes.

Will there be disgusting things to clean up? Yes.

Will you be able to keep every up every personal and domestic habit you enjoyed before children? Probably not.

But will your days be characterized by less-than-human conditions? Probably not.

Now are there people who have a really tough time regaining a “new normal” after having kids? Who do feel like they can’t struggle to the top of messes and sleep-deprivation and schedule changes and sickness? Of course. And if that is what one finds themselves enduring, that person needs hope. And if posts like the above-mentioned help, then I am sincerely all for that.

But if you’re out there, about to have a baby… take heart. Don’t be freaked out by drama and “realism.” Yes, you’re about to face a challenging time of life. But it’s doable. It will look different for every person and family; every child produces unique joys and challenges. Chances are, sometime during the first few months, you will figure out how to venture out of the house with a new little one in tow. Perhaps there will even be a grocery trip or a meal made. You will discover with great joy that you’re little sweetie can lay happily in a crib while you get a shower. Or maybe they’ll be cool enough to sit in a bouncy seat in the bathroom while you sing your favorite tunes and scrub away. Maybe not, but you will figure it out eventually. (in most cases, people do!)

Motherhood is a privilege, a great adventure, and above all a gift. God gives grace and new mercy every day.

So from one very average, imperfect, “real” momma to another, you can do it; and if you haven’t “done” it yet –it’s not so bad. I highly recommend it. ; )

4 thoughts on “A little optimistic reality for expectant and first-time moms

  1. So true! 🙂 It’s hard but it’s nothing that we can’t take. I do admit that when hubby was away, I did go for over a day without a shower haha. 😛

  2. It gets better! 🙂 I recently had a daughter and she is almost 3 months old- after labor it was soo tough with her.. Recovery and all was horrendous- way worse than how I felt during pregnancy. But after two weeks or so, it got much better. And now I think it was soo worth it- every bit of pain, every tear, every headache, etc! Especially when you see the first smile and hear the first coo!

  3. Oh goodness! I think denial of what was to come is what got me through my first pregnancy. Then whammo; reality! I get that people didn’t want to scare me, but I could have used a little warning. 😉
    Looking forward to reading more!

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