Mama, Your Baby Needs You. It’s That Simple (And That Hard)

Life Parenting

Mama, I see you crying in the shower.

I hear your thoughts as they mislead you into believing that you’re failing.

I sense your fear. Your worries. Your uncertainty.

Your overwhelm. Your grief. Your yearning for the life you’ve left behind.⠀

And I see something else.

I see you holding your baby as your tears fall.

Maybe you’re holding your baby because you’re home alone; walking this path is more isolating than you ever imagined, but this tiny soul is beside you every step of the way.

Maybe you’re holding your baby because everybody assumes you’ve got this and so genuine help seems to be rarely offered; you feel the weight of unrealistic expectations to appear strong, composed and competent when you feel anything but.

Maybe you’re holding your baby because even in your lowest moments when you should be caring for yourself, you know that your baby needs you; it’s that simple and that hard.⠀

Maybe you’re holding your baby because her presence reminds you that your tears have a purpose; that with each passing day she’s helping you to summon the courage to be the mother and woman you already are…but are too scared to share with the rest of the world.

Maybe you’re holding your baby because for the first time in your life you feel truly seen, wholly accepted and unconditionally loved; she is teaching you power of true vulnerability.

Maybe you’re holding your baby because you walked into motherhood believing you had control; now, you’re realizing that the books were wrong, society’s roadmap was misleading and that any attempts to seize control only serves to push you away from your baby.

Maybe you’re holding your baby because the moment you leave her sight, she cries for you; your presence calms her, your body nourishes and your warmth soothes her.

Maybe you’re holding your baby because the TWO of you are ONE; birth was merely a point on your shared journey.

Your body continues to regulate hers. Your heartbeat continues to dance with hers. Your immune system continues to protect her.

And while you crave time to yourself, the moment you get it you feel the magnetism of your connection drawing you back together.

I want you to know that it will get better.

I want you to know that it will change.

I want you to know that your emotions, no matter what rollercoaster ride they may be taking you on right now, are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They just are. They’re waves in the ocean, but they are not the water. They can feel intense and overwhelming and scary….but they’re impermanent.

You are NOT your emotions. Your thoughts are NOT necessarily true. Observe your emotions, walk beside them and let them go.

I want you to know that your ability to surrender is a strength, not a weakness. Surrender is trusting in your ability and your instincts with complete conviction. Surrender is believing in yourself so deeply that you can close your eyes and freefall into newness and mystery in the knowledge that…no matter what…you’ll catch yourself.

I want you to know that there is no shame in admitting you don’t have this; the truth is that none of us do. After five years of motherhood, my tears still need to fall. Because while our children may grow, their independence may blossom and our hormones may find balance again (some of the time!)…no matter how strong we may appear…we all stumble and fall.

And, I want you to know that today’s challenges will pass…all too soon. And when they do, you will look back on your tears shed in the shower and you will see that they were washing away your fears and your insecurities, your doubts, and your anxieties. They were softening you. They were carving a path. They were opening your heart to accept a love you’d never known.

But, there is one thing I want you to do today. Take care of yourself in one small way…no matter how insignificant it may seem. A glass of water. A warm cup of tea. A walk. An early night.

What does that look like for you? Share in the comments below and please share this post with a mama who needs this today.

 

IMAGE CREDIT: Catie Atkinson

Catie is the founder of the Studio Spirit & Sol, which grew from a desire to share stories through art. Her paintings are inspired by all of the goddesses in her life – and the powerful light that each one of us carries within us. Pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and motherhood find their way into most of her pieces and reflect her own journey as a mother to three beautiful children. Find Catie’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram.

COMMENTS
  • Avatar
    April 23, 2019
    Helen

    A cup of coffee whilst breast feeding on the sofa. A small treat after a 5am start.

    • Avatar
      April 24, 2019
      Dayna

      Right on, Helen! Couldn’t agree more.

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2019
    Amanda

    Taking the time to read this. I needed it today – thank you. “Surrender is trusting in our ability and intuition without complete conviction,”and we need to be reminded of that sometimes.

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2019
    Rebecca

    Thank you for this. I so needed it today. My babies are 7 and 5 but sometimes I feel just as bewildered as I did when we took our first brand new baby home.

    The care I give myself today will be in the form of meditating and taking a short walk.

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2019

    My weekly prenatal yoga night. All my favorite moms/moms to be in one room–talking no holds barred about anything and everything. And an expectation that I’ll be an hour late getting home because talking during class is never enough. Then a drive home with the windows down and the stereo up. 🙂

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2019
    Caroline

    Thank you so much for your beautiful post. It touched me so deeply I’m sitting here crying. My son is 3, still breastfeeding on demand and craving a lot of attention, but words like this remind me why our journey is so important and how blessed we truly are. Sending you the best wishes

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2019
    Jenny

    Today I will take a short walk and ask my husband to do or daughter’s last feeding of the day. And go to bed early by 8:45Pm. It was a long night last night with a very sick 12 month old.

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2019
    Camille

    What beautiful words and so comforting being a 31 weeks pregnant first time mummy riding all the new waves of emotions that have been arising on this journey. At the moment I love to treat myself long shower, rubbing lots of body oil over my body and mixing up some nice aromatherapy oils before bed.

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2019
    Julie

    I’m always wondering if anyone out there is feeling like I am or if I’m just crazy. My daughter is 8 months old and this article really resonated with me. So well written and I wiped many tears while reading it. Thank you so much for writing this, It helped at least one person today 💕

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2019
    Brynn

    This is by far one of the best articles I have read in regards to motherhood. Thank you.

  • Avatar
    April 25, 2019
    Marguerite McMullin

    Wish I had read this when my son was tiny. I suffered withpretty severe pnd and this article would have helped.

  • Avatar
    April 25, 2019
    Jessica Leon Guerrero

    Thank you for this article! This made me stronger. Today, I’ll do a painting when my baby naps.

  • Avatar
    April 25, 2019
    Annie

    Beautiful writing of resonance and shared experience, thank you Catie.

  • Avatar
    April 25, 2019
    Shaylyn

    I needed to hear this thank you so much for writing this. My baby is 5 weeks and before she was born I didn’t listen to the people warning me about how hard motherhood would be, I thought “I got this, I was born to do this” and sometimes o find myself now thinking “do I have this? I don’t think I’m cut out to be a mom” but it’s other mothers who share their moments of weakness and insecurity that makes me realize these new thoughts are normal, and they do pass and through the hard times I was born to be a mom!

  • Avatar
    April 25, 2019
    Sakshi

    I think it’s written for me today…I needed to read this so much. Thanks so much for writing my heart out.

  • Avatar
    April 30, 2019

    Motherhood is such a rollercoaster! One minute you feel like you’ve got this and then the next you wonder how you will ever get through the next minute. Being a mom is such a huge shift and period of growth for us – but I know I wouldn’t change a thing!

  • Avatar
    May 02, 2019
    Mimie

    I’m so grateful for this site, feeling like I’m from another place and time as I parent from a deep emotional place in my being. My sweet boy comes first and I ache inside at times knowing I’m giving him all I have and then I find the energy and love to give more. I tell myself as hard as it is working while he stays home with dad, nursing still at three, coaleeping, being his rock his place of safety and comfort, these are the things I’ll miss one day (minus the working I wish I was home and his dad working). So I breath and I settle down into the pure love and beautiful connection that is beyond my reasoning, it is just ment to be. I’m learning so much and I’m so very proud of myself for not listening to all the parenting advice that is not healthy for my son or my own being. Cuddles, love and more cuddles. Hold your babies and respond to their every need. You cannot spoil a baby or small person with attentive love. Thank you Tracey your writings have given me so much reassurance and I’m so grateful.

  • Avatar
    May 15, 2019
    Amberly R

    THANK YOU! I really needed to read this.

  • Avatar
    June 03, 2019
    Kate

    Thank you for this. I just brought home #5. You would think I would be an expert by now. But I’m physically and emotionally exhausted trying to balance the needs of my newborn coupled with her needs of my older children (1,3,5,8). Who are all adjusting to a new baby in the house. Everyone assumes I have it down, “I don’t know how you do it.” But what they don’t realize is that I haven’t a clue how I’m doing it. I just keep chugging along. Because I love each one with my whole entire
    Heart.

  • Avatar
    June 04, 2019
    Angeline

    Beautiful. Thank you for uplifting a momma’s spirit. It’s no joke to have a newborn and a toddler. That cup of coffee or tea needs some sippin’.

  • Avatar
    June 13, 2019
    Cara

    Thankyou for these words they are so true and describe exactly all the different feelings I have had since my daughter was born 11 weeks ago. It gives me encouragement to know I am not alone.

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