When I became a mom for the first time, I had the benefit of having 3 close friends who were seasoned mom-like on their 3rd and 4th kids seasoned. These moms were a lifeline to me in those first few months as a first time mom when you constantly seem to be frazzled, sleep deprived, scared and confused. To be honest, these moms are still the women I call when I need mommy advice even though by now I have been through these things once or twice.
I distinctly remember one time when Lily was a few months old and she had been crying for what seemed like forever and nothing was working to make her stop. I was functioning on way to little sleep and my hormones were still completely out of whack. I found myself curled up in the corner of my room in the fetal position with my hands over my ears. I was crying uncontrollably, but managed to dial one of these friends. I was so ashamed of my inability to deal with this child I had wanted for so long. I will never forget her words to me as I confessed my breakdown-“It’s Normal.” I can almost remember the relief that washed over me as she recounted all the meltdowns she had with a new baby.
The more I hang around other moms, the more I notice how often we tentatively tell our stories, waiting for that assurance that we are normal-that our kids are normal, our marriages are normal, our complete inability to master this motherhood thing is in fact, normal. The great thing is, when it comes to parenting, so much is “normal.”
Yourbaby’s poop is fluorescent orange after eating a lot of carrots-normal. Your toddler thinks the 4 food groups are chicken nuggets, PB & J, grilled cheese and anything containing high fructose corn syrup-normal. You are trying to nurse while out to eat with a friend and somehow manage to squirt breast milk across the table into her eye-normal. You beg your OB to tell you that although 6 weeks have passed, you are still “not ready” (you so know what I am talking about)- normal.
This is why I must preach, yet again, that motherhood is not to be attempted without a vast social network of other mommies. So my Works For Me Wednesday tip is be bold and transparent enough to confess all your stuff to some trusted mommies. 9 out of 10 times, you will hear those precious words, “It’s normal.” The best part is that these words are often followed by some great stories (like the nursing one from above, I love that story…mostly because it isn’t mine)
For more great parenting advice from other “seasoned” moms head over to Rocks in my Dryer.