Leave some wisdom for the mother to be, write your best advice on the card, read the instructions sitting next to a stack of cards with blank lines that coordinated perfectly with the baby shower. That’s a tall order for such a tiny card. I thought for a minute before writing, Be confident. Be Strong. Trust your instincts. Never sacrifice baby snuggles for laundry or dishes. I’m here when you need me!
A few months passed, and that same mother to be welcomed a tiny little baby and in that instant, her life was changed forever. I didn’t think much about that little card until we exchanged a series of texts after the baby was born. From breastfeeding to sleep patterns, from body image to schedules, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should have shared more.
Should I have pulled her to the side and given her the scoop on what it’s like at my house at 3:00 AM?
Or maybe I could have told her about how the lactation consultant will describe nursing to you as beautiful and wonderful and natural, even though for the first six weeks or so, it will feel the exact opposite.
Perhaps I could have told her just how long I wore my maternity pants post-baby. Or how I promptly ordered a one-piece swimsuit because I was so certain things would never, ever be the same.
I probably could have told her about the seven bottles I washed before I came to the baby shower. That’s right seven, even though he only drinks five a day. Or about the laundry that will surely pile up because baby spit-up smells horrible and you’ll want to change clothes at least sixteen times a day, even though you definitely won’t have time to do that.
I could have said all of those things, and so much more, but I’m glad I didn’t.
I’m not sorry I left out the part about sleeping.
Or my messy house.
Or my ill fitting clothes.
Or my labor that ended in a c-section.
Because being a mother is so much more. So much that it makes up for all the things that seem insanely difficult to someone who is preparing to have a child for the first time.
Each of those hard things that seem daunting and overwhelming get thrown into a crazy beautiful mix and somehow finds a way to come out just right. Sure, motherhood isn’t seamless, it doesn’t even look they way we always imagine.
The first time you look into those brand new eyes, you’ll understand that motherhood can’t be what we imagine because it goes beyond anything we could have dreamed.
I’m not sorry I didn’t tell you about the messy parts.
Because no matter what your nights look like, no matter how you feed your child, no matter how many days it has been since you washed your hair or your dishes. Your baby is going to think you’re the best thing in the entire world, it will be worth it a million times over to trade in restful nights and clean sinks.