My Instagram feed is full of new moms, fit and smiling with their babies, dressed in “real” clothes, hair done, with no sign of sleep deprivation. Who are these Supermoms, and how do I become one?
Ryan is going on day three of needing to eat EVERY HOUR. Yes, every hour. I literally nurse, close my eyes for 15 minutes, and nurse again. I have not slept. I feel like a zombie, and I’m sure that I look like one too. I am so tired. There are no words for how tired I am. But that is motherhood.
Motherhood is not glamourous. Motherhood is not makeup, and blow dried hair, and trendy workout clothes. Motherhood is exhaustion, and spit up, and tears…at least in the beginning.
And on top of all that, I am trying to recover from the enormous task of birthing a human being. I feel overweight and flabby. Maternity clothes do not fit anymore but neither do my regular clothes. I am in a clothing limbo. My pelvis hurts, I have sciatica, and my shoulders ache from nursing constantly. I so badly need a haircut and a pedicure but am not yet ready to leave the baby. I have no energy to cook anything, so I am subsiding on crackers, cereal, and coffee. The house is a mess, there is laundry that needs to be done. Having a cleaning lady has become the best money I have ever spent. I try to get sleep anyway I can. I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to sleep sitting up. I’ve tried “laid back nursing” but have had no luck.
I find myself getting frustrated with Chloe, and her tantrums have increased. She has watched more tv in the past three weeks than I thought I’d ever allow. Her sleep schedule is off, and she’s been eating lots of frozen pancakes for dinner. Literally, frozen. She doesn’t even want them warmed up. And her pacifier habit has come back full force.
Motherhood is real and raw, and not always pretty. But… it is beautiful. There is no better sound in the world than your child saying, “I love you, Mommy.” There is no better sight than your new baby looking into your eyes for the first time. Motherhood is trying and exhausting but nothing will give you more purpose, or fill your heart with more love. You will find that your life no longer really matters. Your life now revolves around the happiness of your two little loves.
Right now, it is hard, but I know that this too shall pass, as it did with the first. And eventually, I will sleep again.