My Letter to Every First Time Mother
I wish my parents could read this before walking through my door with their newborn infant.
Welcome to my office and a whole new world of parenting. I am excited for you and feel privileged to be part of your journey. If you feel you have NO idea what you are doing right now, that is completely normal. Frustration at being milked every hour, wanting to cry every 10 minutes, and being overwhelmed by the love you have for this new human being are predictable feelings too.
You are going to experience loss of a part of yourself and life as you knew it will be different. Some of these new events are amazing, like that first smile from your baby. Many of these milestones, though, can be just plain hard. The next two decades will bring unexpected challenges, heartache, and disappointment, but also beautiful, unparalleled surprises.
Let us get back to right now, looking at your newborn. Happiness and love are sometimes not automatically part of the equation; however, exhaustion, doubt, fear and frustration most certainly are. Talk to me about that. I am here; I am listening. I will try to help you be the best mother you can.
There are NO stupid questions. I will guide you to the best of my ability as long as your children are under my care. I will share my own stories if you ask. Some of them are pretty hilarious as I have navigated my own way through motherhood. There will never be judgement from me at any time.
There are NO wrong decisions you make on behalf of your child. I know you are doing the best you can. I have been there; right where you are now. After four children, I have made countless mistakes and learned many lessons. There will be stumbles along the way. EVERY mother wants to throw the baby out with the bath water, run screaming from their house, and nap for 7 days straight without interruption sometimes. Those feelings are totally and completely normal.
The reason I am writing you this letter is the world tells you having a baby brings you nothing but overwhelming joy. The truth can be far different than that. You may be experiencing post-partum depression, but just because you are not bubbling over with delight at your baby does not make that true. Part of parenting is patience. You and your newborn will find your own comfortable rhythm in time.
Until that happens, I am here and many resources exist in this community for you and your baby. Do not be afraid to seek them out. We have a New Parent Support Group at Kitsap Community Resources in Bremerton and Port Orchard, Hope Circle meetings for all mothers, Nurturing Expressions offers a Support Group in Poulsbo, and La Leche League is active in many Kitsap County locations. Please feel free to add some I have missed below.
Our practice, Silverdale Pediatrics, now offers ALL newborns, one home visit for you and your baby. There are many providers in this community ready to help, all you have to do is ask and let us know you need it.