Baby, Motherhood

A Letter to the Exhausted New Mom

Being a new mom is tough.  You’re not getting much sleep and are so exhausted.  Beyond exhausted.  You’re still trying to learn how to be a mother to your new baby.  Trying to figure out what your baby needs at any given moment.  Most of the time having absolutely no clue.

As a first time mom, I felt so overwhelmed and clueless.  I remember one night my daughter was screaming at the top of her lungs.  I tried feeding her.  Changing her.  Burping her.  I tried everything.  And then I just cried with her.  Hysterical, exhausted sobs.

What every new mom needs to hear.

The first several months of Addie’s life were hard.  I felt like I would never get the hang of being a mom.  Or ever get a full night of sleep again.

“Just wait” was what I kept reading.  “Just wait, it’s going to get worse.”

I read article after article, blog post after blog post.  When would things start looking up?  When would I not feel like a zombie anymore?  According to the internet, the outlook was pretty bleak.  Everyone made raising kids sound horrible.  They did agree that it was worth it, but I didn’t get much hope for what came next.  And I desperately needed hope.

The posts that I was reading made parenting sound soul sucking and depressing.  Life would never be the same and it wasn’t going to get easier.  It seemed like everything I read was so negative and pessimistic.  Definitely not what a struggling new mom needed to hear.

Well, I’m happy to announce that I did survive the newborn stage.  And I would like to share with you what I figured out.

It really does get better.

And not years and years later when the kids are finally out of the house.  And not when they’re old enough to go to school.  It’s much sooner than that.  Eventually your baby will sleep through the night.  I promise you.  It will happen.  And they’ll be able to tell you why they’re upset.  Maybe not in words, but clear enough for you to understand.

There will be a day when you realize you’re not just dragging through your day.  Your child will wake up in the morning and not several times in the middle of the night.  You’ll be an expert at being your child’s mommy.  You’ll get hugs and kisses that make up for all the sleepless nights.  Smiles and laughter.

Your life won’t always be just dirty diapers and feedings and crying (from you and the baby).  Things do get better.

I thought I’d never get a full night of sleep again.  But then it happened.  I know right now you feel like this phase of life will never end.  But it will.  You’ll look back and it will seem like such a short chapter in your parenting story.

Hold on, mama!  You’re going to get through this.  In one piece, too!

Hold on.  You’re going to make it.  It really does get better.

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  1. YAS! To all of this. I also read everywhere on the internet that you will never sleep again. I do suppose it’s all relative. But things did start to turn around for us once our son was eating solids and could sleep for longer stretches. Hang in there mommas!

    1. Bethany

      Once my daughter started with solids things changed quite a bit for us too. Of course, I never get to sleep as much as I could before kids, but everyone seems to want to paint parenthood as a complete horror story. It’s a tough job for sure, but I think new moms need to hear more of the good stuff. Thanks so much for reading, Kate!

  2. And then it starts over when you have another one! 😉 Great post – and so true. It does get better. And it’s so worth it. Those first smiles are amazing, and it just gets better from there!

    1. Bethany

      Oh yes, I’ll be starting all over here in a couple months! Gotta remind myself it won’t last forever. Those first smiles really are the best, too! I’m looking forward to that. 🙂

      Thanks for reading, Corinna!

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