Dear New Mummy,
You won’t believe me, but I know how you are feeling. I know that you’ve never felt a love like this before to the point that you can’t even understand how you ever existed before this beautiful little bundle came into your life and nestled into your arms. But you are also tired, so tired, and so overwhelmed. You probably don’t believe me when I say that I know how you are feeling, because no one has ever loved a baby as much as you love your baby. And no one has every felt as tired as you do now.
You can suddenly feel everything so much stronger than you ever have done before in your life, when you gave birth your heart grew a hundred times bigger in an instant. You can love deeper than you ever could have imagined to be possible and with that comes the realisation that you are now more vulnerable than ever, because you now have something that truly matters. You probably also have the fear, the fear that you won’t be a good Mother, that your baby deserves the best, and you worry that you can’t be that. You can and you already are. There aren’t any words to describe that feeling, but another Mother knows, we understand.
You’re going to be bombarded with advice over the next few weeks, months and probably years of your life. You might not want to take on any more, but if you listen to one thing, please let it be this.
Hold your baby. Cuddle them in close. Bond with them. Forget about everything else right now. You and your baby are the centre of the universe. Please forget about the housework; the cleaning, the tidying, the food shop. If you have visitors coming over, let them help you with it all, and if you don’t have many visitors coming then who cares what the house looks like anyway. You will only get this time with your child once and you will kick yourself so hard if you don’t make the most of it.
But don’t forget to take care of yourself. You need to heal from giving birth, you’ve created a life and now you need to rest, and relish in those precious newborn cuddles. You have no schedule right now, your baby doesn’t need to be in a routine for a while yet, so just relax. Do what is best for you both. If they can sleep without you holding them, then take a nap when they do. If they need to be held to sleep, rope in your partner, your family and friends to hold them so you can rest. Learn to accept help when it is offered to you. Your body has just gone through one of the most traumatic experiences possible, so allow yourself to recover. You are the best Mummy that your baby could ever have and so it’s in both of your interests to take care of yourself during this time too.
Rest, recover and most of all enjoy your baby. You deserve this time with them, in your newborn bubble. Nothing else matters. The world can take care of itself for a few weeks or months, just take however long you need to feel ready to rejoin society again. This is the most precious time in both yours and your child’s life so far, so don’t forget to enjoy it.
I promise you will never look back and regret just holding your baby, breathing in that amazing newborn smell and basking in the pride that you created this wonderful being. So put down that laundry basket, step away from the oven and go and take your rightful spot on the sofa with your beautiful baby. Always choose the cuddles.