Four years ago today, I vividly remember what a wreck I was. Why hadn’t anyone warned me that the first few weeks (months?) of being a brand new mom would be way harder than they would be enjoyable? Did they try to tell me and I just didn’t listen? Likely.
I remember sitting on our brown leather couch in our living room rocking eight week old colicky Hadley until she fell asleep, then laying her in her Fisher Price swing and grabbing Jamie’s laptop to write. I suddenly felt like I wanted/needed to write about all of this. Maybe other women felt the way I did? Maybe I wasn’t alone in this?
I had this weird urge to start blogging all over again, so I quickly came up with a new name (Heeeeeey Whimsical September!) and spit out one of the most honest pieces of writing I’ve ever done, entitled “The Rollercoaster of Being a First-Time Mom“. I shared it on my personal Facebook page (probably without even proofreading it), and the amount of positive feedback I quickly received from it was surprising. So many of my Facebook friends commented about how they could empathize with my emotions as a new mom but also offered advice and encouragement as I continued to navigate my new role as Hadley’s mom.
I’ve always been a lover of words and had a passion for writing, but on this day, I saw the power of words. I was able to formulate my feelings via the written word way better than I could out loud. I felt encouraged and comforted by women who had been moms longer than I had who helped me realize that this is all a normal part of the journey of motherhood. Also, I was told my words gave empathy to some of my friends who quietly felt similarly as well.
Well, sheesh. This seems like a win/win! Maybe I’ll keep on with this blogging thing again?
So I kept going, and here we are four years later. Hooray! I love that so many of you have gotten to watch my girls grow since they were infants. Heck, you’ve gotten to watch me grow up as well. 😉
But back to that blog post. A good chunk of my closest friends have had babies in the last few years, and I’ve been on the other end of the couch or the phone call as they’ve cried right along with their newborn through those first few weeks/months. They’ve gotten through it just like we all have, but they always have the same thing in common with each other – they didn’t know it would be this hard, they’re tired, navigating doing things outside of the house is awkward, they don’t know how to fix “x” issues, and the newborn crying is going to send them to the crazy house.
And I’ve thought back 100 times to little ole’ me sitting on my brown leather couch rocking Hadley to sleep, near tears myself because I was struggling and frustrated at how hard all of this was. I didn’t have postpartum depression and don’t pretend to know anything about what that’s like or the severity of it; I just know that I was a brand new mom who was frustrated for being frustrated and not enjoying this season more.
I feel inclined to say something in this post about “Wait! I don’t want to scare you from having a baby because being a mom is the best thing ever!” And it is! It really, truly, times a million is the best. thing. ever. But DANG IT, IT IS HARD. Holy freaking cow, it’s hard.
So today, four years later, I’m thinking about 26 year old Erica who had no idea that that little baby was going to turn into her very best little girlfriend. She would slide into her role as a mother so gradually and seamlessly and do that newborn stage again a thousand times over (but no, thank you!) if it meant she could have nightly “girl talk time” with her four year old like she does now.
So mamas with your first little newborn in your arms, HANG ON. I can so empathize with your struggles as you transition into this role as a mom, but the struggles you’re going through now are equipping you to be empathetic and encourage future new moms who may/will struggle as well.
And today, four years later, I’m also thinking about how tickled pink I am that Whimsical September is a preschooler (AKA four years old)! Should I do a whole award show-style acceptance speech about how much I looooooove you guys and appreciate you reading my ramblings (oh, how I do.) Nah, I’ll skip it and start working on tomorrow’s post, because this dorky little blog-turned-part-time-job is one of the loves of my life and isn’t going anywhere. 🙂
Anyway, thanks for reading! Happy 4th birthday, WS! And new mamas, seriously, hang in there. 🙂