Scary Mommy: 14 Truths Every New Mom Should Know
8. Sleep deprivation is the worst. It’s awful. It’s revolting. And it physically hurts. It’s like a really bad subway smell on a hot day — but in your brain. That said, blame everything and anything on sleep deprivation for as long as you possibly want.
9. It’s called childREARing for a reason. It’s unbelievable how often babies can poop, especially since they don’t even drink coffee. The frequency or color of babycrap ® doesn’t really matter. As long as the stool’s soft, not black or white, and blood as well as mucus-free, there’s nothing to freak out about. Well, there are things to freak out about – global warming, for example – but not your baby’s poop.
10. Get out. Babies are small. This works to your advantage in so many ways! First, it would be hard to give birth to one if they were big. Second, it makes diaper changes easier. Third, it means that babies are portable so you can take them almost anywhere once you feel ready. Yes, even to a bar.
11. Get support. This is important for your boobs and this is important for you. Seriously, you’re going to need some good bras whether you’re nursing or not; and, you’re going to need some good people with whom to talk, lean on and commiserate. Join a new parents’ group or class as soon as you can because — don’t forget! — your baby is portable.
12. Get help. Ten to twenty percent of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. Ten to twenty percent. It’s so common. Why don’t we talk about this more? We should talk about this more. If you’re reading this and feel you might have symptoms of depression or anxiety, please don’t feel alone — because you’re not. If you feel depressed, overanxious, overwhelmed or are worried that you may have trouble taking care of yourself and your baby, call your doctor or reach out to a loved one right away.
13. You’re still you. One day you’ll sleep again. One day you’ll sit down to eat dinner and not worry about the baby crying. And one day you’ll shower and, maybe, you’ll even wash your hair. You really will feel like yourself again. Except, maybe even better. Maybe a little more patient. And maybe a little more appreciative of the little things. Probably a lot more appreciative of the little things. Like sleep. Oh God! Sleep!
14. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Do you love your baby? Are you doing the best you can? Has anyone contacted the authorities? If you can answer “yes,” “yes” and “no” then pat yourself on the back because you’re doing great!
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About the Author…
Melissa Sher’s writing has been in the Huffington Post, New York Times’ Motherlode column, Chicago Tribune and bathroom stalls all over this beautiful country. She was named to the Babble 100: Top Bloggers of 2013 this year (and her mother wasn’t even one of the judges!). You can read her blog, Mammalingo, or follow her on Twitter @thismelissasher, or go outside and yell as loud as you can. Even if she can’t hear you, it will feel good.