The Mama Letters

Everyone says the first two weeks with a newborn are the hardest. I don't know yet whether they are right. We are only just now heading on three weeks with little Will. But it has been hard. Very hard.

I don't do well with sleep deprivation. This is one unfortunate thing I've learned about myself! But I'm trying, trying to not get worked up about it, to let each day be a little better than the last, to learn to sleep while he sleeps - which everyone dictatorially commands me to do (ah, sounds so easy doesn't it?).

One of the things I've struggled with are images that have seeped into my mind from mommy blogs I've been reading the last 9 months. Blogs where women with babies actually get out of the house. And cook. And do crafts. And throw parties. And have time to blog about it, apparently. And take photos. Blogs where pretty women dressed in pretty clothes with pretty hair and makeup pose with pretty babies in pretty settings.

I have not one pretty photo of me holding my baby (yet). I don't have time to get pretty every day or even on rare days. And it's not just about pretty - it's about the idea of having time to document motherhood and babyhood in some sort of creative, meaningful, pretty way. I haven't yet had that time (until today). Or any time I took to do it would be time I wouldn't be sleeping, resulting in even more late night madness.

And this discrepancy, between my reality, and what I thought was possible based on peering into other people's lives through their blogs, has been difficult for me. It's made me wonder if I'm somehow different, deficient, less skilled, less energetic, less motivated, etc. Even though I know it's probably not true! That I'm normal!

It's made me wonder if I should stop blogging altogether. Or stop reading blogs altogether. To forget this artificial view into people's lives, to stop giving myself too much opportunity for comparison to pretty fantasies and selected realities.

But I've decided on the opposite. I will lean into this feeling, I will dig in with honesty. I will share what it's really been like instead. I will write my own version of The Mama Letters and post them here when I am able.

p.s. Will is gorgeous. I adore him. He's worth every moment of late night madness. He's already putting on chub and growing inches and I am sad to be slowly losing my newborn...


  1. Don't stop blogging but maybe stop reading those other blogs. I always felt it was important for me to keep it real, to tell my truth which was hard that whole first year - especially the first 8-9 months. It helped me find others who were struggling, but scared to show it. We could then commiserate together.

    I think the photo of you snuggled up with Will in the Moby (Is that just a regular Moby wrap? Are you laying down?) is gorgeous, by the way.

    Thinking about you every day,

  2. Oh girl!!! Don't believe those blogs!!! I'm 11 months out sometimes I don't shower for days! My hair is in knots, no makeup on and I'm still in my pjs.
    I rarely went out the first few months, I sat on the couch, feeding the baby, sleeping, watching tv...repeat. Some days are better than others and sometimes I make crafts or decorate. But then there are weeks where I just watch tv all day.
    Maybe those bloggers have it together, but I really don't think it's the norm. Don't feel bad and don't worry what other mommies do. This is a tough time, sleep deprivation sucks!
    More women should be honest on what it's really like. I hope you do blog the truth. And maybe I'll write a few things about how it really is too! :)

  3. Hey cutie

    I remember all too well that feeling of sleep deprivation. 3 weeks is when the euphoria of having a newborn starts to wear off and it really hits the hardest. Don't worry things will get better!!! in the meantime:

    1. Read this. I wish I had it when Lucy was 3 weeks old. Its awesome: http://powerofmoms.com/2012/04/your-children-want-you/
    2. Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you don't have one already, buy one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Bucky-Shades-Sleep-Earplugs-Charcoal/dp/B000BW1TRA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1334261088&sr=8-3 The earplugs are key. Sleep with one in - enough to drown out the little noises that might keep you awake but also you will hear him when he cries.
    3. The thing that haunted me the most when Lucy was born was the thought of all the moments that were slipping away. So I bought a journal (you know, a real paper one) and I stated writing in it - at least every 2 weeks, more if I had time. That way I can record and tell her what she's doing, what I'm doing, etc. I still keep a journal for her and I have one for Thomas as well. It has been worth the time.

    You're doing a great job!! Will is so lucky to have you as his Mama.

  4. PS. When both of my kids were newborns I spent a LOT of time in yoga pants watching TV. That's when I started watching Mad Men, although I had to stop after a while because I started to imagine that I was Betty Draper.


  5. http://bitchmagazine.org/article/better-homes-bloggers
    I thought you might be interested in this article because it discusses that disconnect between what we see in other blogs and reality. I think you've been doing a wonderful job considering you have a two week old baby!

  6. This is beautifully written! I, too, had this image of an immaculate house, well-behaved and well-groomed children, hair and make-up and matching clothes every day. I have learned to enjoy not getting dressed before noon, to revel the dissheveledness of motherhood and to embrace the chaos.

    Invest in some "cute" loungewear! (Not that you're lounging! haha!) This exhausted-beyond-words phase is just that-- a PHASE-- that will soon become a sort of recurring fatigue that can be mostly cured with a couple cups of java. =)

  7. You made me Smile... and I'm laughing with you not at you my Friend! The Reality is that here in the Land of Blog it can seem Ideal... appear that there is never any trouble in Paradise... because it can all be very selective and edited. I too stood in awe of the immaculate homes and how the families and schedules of so many here could look so perfect and so very different than my Home, the Bohemian Valhalla Crew & mi Vida Loca! {my crazy life} *LOL* In actuality there are probably more Homes and Families and Challenges like ours and we are not abnormal, slackers or inept. You have a Beautiful Baby... but the Reality is that there are no perfect people... nope, not one... we'll each make mistakes, our kids & G-Kids will challenge us at times, and our Homes may look ransacked when Life gets full and hectic... and every once in a while we'll have the rare chance while Parenting our broods to look Pretty and have a respite. *Smiles* I'm raising a 2nd Generation and so you should SEE what I look like some days trying to keep up with the G-Kid Force and everything else I should be doing!!!!!!! *shudder* You're doing fine... hang in there and know that we're all cheering and encouraging you!
    Hugs from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  8. I had my newborns a LONG time ago... before the internet! (even though I don't feel that old..I'm in my early 50's). I actually wish I had been able to blog back then. What a great way to remember what it was like to be a new mom with a fresh baby! My advice would be to drop the things that really aren't necessary (maybe cut back reading blogs), but do the things that will hold meaning for you down the road (like blogging about your little one). I have forgotten so much, although I did journal sporadically and keep a baby calendar or two, and take pictures for albums, and a few videos.
    Enjoy each day as it comes and prioritize. I haven't watched soaps for many YEARS, but I learned to relax and enjoyed watching them while nursing back then. Let the things go that aren't necessary or urgent right now. Focus on the simple things that matter to you and your family-like eating, sleeping, bonding together as a family, and enjoying your little one. This season won't last and soon enough you'll be up and out like everyone else.
    Personally, if I read 'new mom' blogs where Mama looks fabulous all the time, I would know it's not really real. ;)Something's gotta give. You only have so much energy.
    You and your baby are beautiful, btw! Such a special time.

  9. Please do not stop blogging about that! Often I feel exactly like you - although I do not have a baby (yet). But other women seem to work, have a family, do sport, have time for crafty things, and seem to be never ever tired! After a week full of work I am often tired and just want to relax on weekends without doing anything special. But I decided to accept myself as I am - maybe I do not have that much energy than others... But is it that important how others live their lifes? I try to concentrate to my own life and not to compare. And very often, if I talk openly to friends about my feelings I recognize, that they feel exactly like me!!
    So just enjoy your life with your newborn as good as you can - and it is ok, if you are not happy all the time ;-)
    Best Wishes from Austria!

  10. Honey-I don't even have kids and there are times when I don't leave the couch or get dressed or have time to blog. Don't let anyone fool you. You are doing just fine! And being a mommy to your little one is so much more important than anything one can post on the internet. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Get lots of rest and eat right. Snuggle up with baby and smile! Things will get easier. You are wonderful just the way you are! (((HUGS))) Betty :)