Family

Dear Mom – An Open Letter to Myself

NewbornPhotography

Benji arrived almost two months ago. Being a mom is an incredible gift —challenging, but incredible. I can remember mom friends telling me about their experience as a first time parent: sleepless nights, diaper changes, and the pure joy of hearing their child coo or smile for the first time 🙂 I listened to their stories with anticipation.

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Towards the end of pregnancy Benji was very active, and with every kick or hiccup I felt such love for our son.

BabyBoy

In the two months since Benji arrived our lives have been felt with such love and overwhelm. I’ve thrown myself into parenting 100%, navigating my new role as a mother and wife. I haven’t written a post in awhile, partly because I wanted to live in the moment and party because I’ve been focused on where to take my blog and world in 2019 (still in progress).

What I did want to share was an open letter to myself, something this post by Motherly inspired me to write. After Benji arrived I felt intense pressure (mainly from myself) to be supermom, and entertain all of Benji’s visitors. I very rarely took time out to focus on me and my own recovery, something I am trying to do now. There were and are the hormones, the physical changes, and the pure overwhelm of being responsible for another human being. My husband has been a huge source of support. We’re a team. Our lives and marriage will never be the same (in a good way).

10DayOldBaby

There is no one way to parent and the journey is different for everyone. Benji is formula fed, I’m that mom always running 15 minutes behind no matter how hard I try, and I’ve cried myself to sleep for no one reason at all. As soon as I became a parent I finally understood. It’s not that you or me are doing anything wrong —it’s just that hard.

Dear Self,

There are times you may feel overwhelmed, and that’s ok. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remember you are doing great. Lean on your husband, your parents, and the support system around you. Inevitably there will be times when you do not know the answer — trust that these people will help you find it (or at least something close).

The mom community is special. Ask questions, make coffee dates, and put yourself out there (especially in a new city) to meet more of these fabulous humans. Remember that as recommendations and opinions come your way, you can choose to accept them —or not. Go with your gut.

Love yourself 100%. Benji is your top priority, but don’t forget YOU time. Although it takes a bit more coordination, don’t forget those appointments, classes, and solo walks are important. They give you the time to recharge and be a better mother and partner.

Love your body 100%. You will never be the same, look the same, or feel the same as you did pre-pregnancy. It’s ok, because you are stronger. Don’t fear the number on the scale, the pants that don’t fit, or looking in the mirror. You birthed a human. That is a big deal!

Be flexible. You may have a plan and a schedule, and most of the time baby won’t follow it. Learn to roll with it, keep pressing forward, and smile. When the stroller falls on your foot, Benji has a poop explosion or pees in your face, and screams bloody murder in public, remember that life with a newborn is unpredictable and exciting. Benji will only be little for a short period of time. Remember and savour every moment.

Above all. Live, Laugh, Love. Remember there is no one way to feel or parent. Live every day with passion, laugh at all the funny (and not so funny) baby stuff, and love yourself, your baby, and your partner.

Xoxo,

Erica

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