Dear New Mom,

Congratulations on bringing your new bundle of joy into the world. You’ve just done the most beautiful and amazing thing in the world.

I’m writing you as a “new-ish” mom myself but one with a little hindsight. I’ve been through your struggle and survived the first year — and despite how you may feel at times, you will too.

None of us have it together. Some of us are just able to pretend we do better than others. That mom that you’re sitting across in a work meeting had to clean spit up out of her hair this morning. The mom who is impeccably dressed has a face full of makeup to cover the dark circles under her eyes due to being up all night with a colicy baby. Appearances can be deceiving. Just because they LOOK like they have it together doesn’t mean they’re not freaking out inside.

Worrying is normal. We’re all worried about our babies and wonder if we should be doing something differently. Are we feeding our baby enough? Why won’t they sleep more? Are they fussy because they’re getting sick? Should we bring them to the doctor? Is the car seat comfortable? The list of questions is never ending. We worry because we care. We all want the best thing for our babies.

We all have our struggles. A new baby brings thousands of changes and emotions rushing into your life. Living on little sleep, an influx of hormones and struggling through breastfeeding is not easy. People will judge your actions and offer their own advice. Listen to your gut. At the end of the day, you are who knows your baby best. Don’t take it to heart when people criticize your decisions. People do mean well, but at the end of the day you have to do what’s best for your baby, your family and yourself.

I’ve learned a lot through my journey into motherhood over the past year-plus. I’ve made mistakes, learned lessons and kept a little human alive on little sleep while being way too over-caffeinated. Motherhood is not for the weak, but luckily it’s a job that makes you stronger each and every day. Motherhood will bring you some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. There will be times that you struggle and reach your breaking point. But there will also be times that baby giggles will make your heart want to burst.

Cry when you need to, laugh when you please and know that you’re not alone in this journey of motherhood.

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