A Message to New Moms

Part of my hearts passion is towards a new mom or mom-to-be. And if there's one message I would send to them, it would be this: Dear New Mom,

I'm no parenting expert, but I've gone through four births and four postpartum periods, each being a little and a lot different than the last. But you are about to experience, or have recently experienced the birth of your first child and this is uncharted territory for you...it's scary and wonderful all at once.

Everyone has probably told you to "sleep when baby sleeps" to "savor each and every moment" and to look at the hourly middle-of-the-night wake-ups as "extra cuddle time". But, while all that is true, and while it's easy for mothers to say when they've made it through to the other side of that time, I know it's hard to see it this way while you're in it and you're not alone.

Through the tears you shed and the inadequacies you face as you are completely immersed and drowning in new motherhood, God sees you. He sees your exhaustion, He sees your confusion when your baby is on hour three of straight crying, He sees your loneliness and your longing for the adult interaction you once took for granted. He cares and He loves you just the same.

Dear sweet new mother, please know that you may get the urge to wish this time away, or you may just want to hurry this time along so you can be like other parents with kids playing on the playground or enjoying an ice cream on a hot summer day. But please know that while these things are fun and a joy, don't miss out on the now. Your joy is in a snuggle, a sweet toothless grin, a first laugh and coo. Your joy is in tiny laundry and rattles and reading books to a baby that doesn't try to wiggle out of your lap. Your joy is in the splashy sink baths, silly faces and baby giggles. Your joy is in kissable toes, chubby cheeks, and Eskimo kisses.

You see, I was one of the moms that couldn't wait for my oldest baby to "get bigger" to "move on to the next milestone", to be a mom to a "real kid" that could talk, walk, and feed himself. A kid I could take to the playground and share an ice cream with. A kid that wasn't a baby, but a big boy.

And now he's seven. And it didn't take long to get here. And he doesn't snuggle anymore, he doesn't sit in my lap and let me read to him, now he insists he read to me, he doesn't giggle when I make silly faces, he doesn't let me rock him anymore...but I do take him to the playground a lot and we do share an occasional ice cream. What I wouldn't give to have one more night to snuggle his sweet chubbiness, or one more day to chase him giggling around the kitchen as a new walker at 9 months.

These times and new moments are precious, moms. And while you may not miss the sleepless nights and zombie-like state that new motherhood brings, please don't wait until you have your second or third child to cherish the baby moments. These are the sweet days of learning, growing, and falling in love. The yoga pants and high bun may be the norm right now but your baby won't notice, you are doing a beautiful work right now....be present in this amazing, difficult, and wonderful time that is new motherhood.

Love, Alicia

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my firstborn,Hunter and I in Aug.2007