A friend of my was having a baby shower that a lot of friends couldn't make, so a friend of hers asked everyone to write her a letter. Of advice, encouragement, whatever you'd like. I figured I'd share my letter as even reading it two months later I could use to take my own advice.
Dear new mom,
I am so excited for you and your new role as a mom. I have no doubts that you are going to be an amazing mom and that your sweet baby is so lucky to be born into your family. I have very little advice as I feel like I just became a mom, yet somehow 18 months have already passed and I'm sure months will just keep flying by. But here are some things that come to mind when I think about my year and a half of motherhood.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't until Addilyn was three months old that I put her down for a "real" nap. I don't regret it one bit. I sat all the time and held her. I watched a ton of tv while I was nursing her and while she slept on my chest. She rarely snuggles with me now and I wish she would still nap with me but won't! I miss when she would and I'm so glad I soaked it all up and took advantage of those snuggly naps!
My biggest struggle as a mom has been comparing Addilyn and I to other moms and their babies. I think this is probably really common but I wish it wasn't a struggle for me. When I'm stressed about how she still isn't sleeping through the night or doesn't do well in the church nursery, or how I'm nowhere near ready to leave her overnight, I think about how I wouldn't be nearly as worried about those things if I wasn't comparing them to those around me. If I didn't know how other babies were doing in those areas and only thought about how we are both happy and surviving just fine, then I probably wouldn't worry about them nearly as much.
I did not expect adding a baby to be as hard as it was on our marriage. Again, I know everyone is different in this but it was a struggle for us. I think partly because we had been married for so long without kids, but it was tough. It was hard to find time together, and time to sit and have real conversations. So if you're in that place just be encouraged that it's a season and to keep working on it and it will get better! Don't stop working on your marriage and telling each other how you feel.
I had a lot of worries when Addilyn was little and still worry a lot about her. Her health, her future, all that. It's crazy how much you love your baby, but I remind myself over and over that God loves her even more than I do. That he is in control and has a perfect plan for her.
I could cry thinking back to the days Addilyn was a baby. I would LOVE to go back to her tiny little self for a few days and hold her and just stare at her newborn self. I know it sounds cliche but it goes way too fast. When I drive past the hospital where Addilyn was born I almost cry because I so badly want those first moments back. I want to hold her on my chest again and I want to look at her tiny face in shock that she was the baby I carried for nine months. But those days were also so hard. Scary, overwhelming and exhausting.
So, as you go through all the ranges of emotions know that they are all okay. That when days are really, really hard you have tomorrow that is a new day. And when days are really great, you can hold onto them and be thankful and know they will come again.
God is going to give you everything you need for your new role and you are going to be an amazing mom. And are going to experience a love that you can't imagine or describe. You will do great!