What Do You Wish You Would Have Known As A New Mom?

I don’t remember a whole lot from my first pregnancy, other than the strong feeling that if I read every parenting book and somehow finished every household project, it would be a smooth transition to motherhood. Ha! That was the beginning of the humbling process of parenting that continues to this day. Here are just a few tidbits of wisdom I wish I could send back to myself when I was pregnant with my first child.

1. Progress not perfection. There will be days when your greatest achievement will be a shower. In those first few weeks of parenthood you will give up all things you have been really good at like sleeping, cooking, napping, and doing whatever you please. It’s o.k. It will get easier. In the meantime, give up trying to excel. Let the laundry pile up, let the garden sprout a few weeds, and let yourself do the best you can. Survival will do just fine for now.
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How Do You Cope With the Exhaustion of Early Parenthood?

My favorite act of support is bringing a meal to the family of a newborn.  Why?  Because I remember. I remember the piles of laundry and dishes.  I remember that crazy insatiable hunger of early breastfeeding.  But more than anything, I remember the free falling fatigue—and the creeping terror that I would never be able to sleep for more than three hours ever again.

We’ve just recently had a run of challenging nights, which puts me back in that familiar fog.  I feel unable to track my own thoughts, I struggle with patience, and more than anything I just want to be able to lay my head on my pillow.  (And I find myself daydreaming about unexpected opportunities to nap.)

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