Tuesday, January 12, 2016

To The New Mama in Target

Hey there, mama.  Look at you!  You dressed up for Target.
You showered, blow dried your hair, and put on make-up.
I get it.  Target is like an old friend you've missed, and you needed to give her your all this time around.  Your clothes aren't as on point as they were four months ago- in the "glowing days of pregnancy," but you're still looking more like your old self than you have the past three weeks.
 
Or maybe you didn't.  Maybe getting out of the house was a necessity, but the thought of taking a shower today was too exhausting.  You aren't even sure if you brushed your teeth or changed out of your sleep shirt before you got here.  It doesn't matter.  You made it out with your brand new baby, and that is a badge of honor in and of itself.
 
Either way, mama, I see you. I've been you.  Both of you.
I see you with your buggy full of that car seat with your new addition, and the four items you managed to fit around your child so they aren't suffocating in merchandise.  I see your frustration that you can't actually put more in your cart- why do they make those car seats so stupidly big and the carts so unmanageably small?!  They obviously did not consult with you before making these things, I know.
 
I hear you, mama, as you breathe a sigh of exasperation as your new tiny screams because you slightly moved the car seat to make room for a fifth item, and they couldn't deal.
Or maybe they're crying because they're hungry even though you just fed them in the parking lot prior to entering this fine establishment.
Or maybe that nutritious meal you provided has made it's way through their tiny system, and it's now time to learn about the family restroom for a diaper change.
Or maybe they're cold.
Or maybe they're hot.
Or maybe there is absolutely no fathomable reason why they are crying except that you are at Target, enjoying your skinny vanilla latte (decaf for all you nursing mamas, amiright?), and they just need to put their two cents in on that.
 
I see you as we pass each other in the store.  I see you stare at me and my children- now giants compared to yours- with a mix of relief and jealousy.  I know you are so glad to have your brand new baby, and are enjoying all the moments of pleasure out of this stage.  I know that you wish you could trade places with me, though.  I know you wish this was all over.  The sleepless nights.  The inability to really eat anything because babies somehow know when it is time for you to eat, and suddenly need your attention.  The unknown trips to Target- will anything ever be normal again?!
I know, mama.
I know.
 
I will not pretend that I miss those days you are in, dear heart.  I can't lie to you.
I can tell you that it will get better, but that doesn't really help you right now.
Right now you need to know that it is okay to feel like your life sucks.
It kind of does.
I know, mama, I know.
You're not supposed to say that, are you, mama?
That's okay.  I'll say it for you.
Your life sucks.
Having a new baby sucks.
All you want is to go back to the days of no babies and Target and no worries.
Except your life was never no worries, mama.
You always had worries.  You always had things on your plate.
Now you just have a hefty dose of motherhood on there too.
 
There's a secret to motherhood, though, that we don't tell each other often enough:
We are in it together.
So, when you see me staring at you in Target it is definitely not in judgment.
I've been when and where you are, and I totally get it.
It is because I wish so badly that it was cool in our society for me to just go up to you, and give you a hug and tell you that I know.
Instead, I stare and you and hope that my weird looks will translate themselves into an unspoken dose of love for you.
Maybe I should just forget the social norms and start hugging you, anyway.  The Lord knows I needed a hefty dose of love when I walked where you walk. 
 
It will get better, mama.  Until it does just know you're not alone.  It's okay to love and hate this part.  It's okay if this isn't the most magical time of your life.  It's okay.
If most other moms tell you the truth this was never their most favorite time.
Let them fib to you, but know the truth.
You are not alone.
 
PS. Welcome to the sisterhood of motherhood.  We are so glad you're here!

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