Hey there new mama! Congratulations on your newest bundle of joy. Having a new baby is a wild ride. You made it through labor, and your new little one is here! You’re swarmed with visitors, cards, and gifts. You’re gushing over your baby’s little features and overloading your social media profile with images of your sweet new addition.
You get home from the hospital and you might even have friends and family helping you with meals and housework. Everything that was moving so fast suddenly comes to a halt. Your partner goes back to work. Your family and friends who’ve been helping you go home. And then you realize how lonely the newborn mom life really is.
I see you, mama. I see you scrolling through your Instagram stories, seeing your friends having coffee dates and feeling left out that you weren’t invited (even though you wouldn’t make it out of the house anyway).
I see you sitting at home on the couch wondering if it’s worth the effort to pack up the diaper bag and get dressed long enough to leave the house, only to stall long enough that the baby falls asleep.
I see you turning down an offer from a friend for dinner because the baby won’t take a bottle and has to eat at that time. You feel like motherhood has consumed you and somehow you’re missing out on other parts of life that you used to be able to do without second thought.
I see you, mama. I know you love your little one. I know you don’t actually want to wish this time away, but I know it’s just so hard. Everyone tells you to “enjoy these times” and “one day you’ll miss this,” but no one will sit and empathize with your exhaustion.
Motherhood IS wonderful. It IS beautiful. But it IS hard.
I know you feel guilty sometimes. You long for the day where your baby doesn’t need to eat every 2 hours, so you can just make it to Target and back with all your sanity. You long for when your baby will learn to take a bottle, so you can have that dinner with a friend. You long for your baby to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time so you can feel functional during the day. You long for more freedom than your newborn gives you.
But you see, I think FOMO (“fear of missing out”) happens at any stage of motherhood.
Maybe your FOMO is financial. Maybe baby IS old enough to hang during errands but your budget is so tight that you scrounge for spare change in your car to pay for your Chick-fil-A. Or maybe you have to say no to dinner with friends because you just can’t find room in the budget. You might be longing for a beach vacation like all of your Facebook friends, but that’s just not feasible for the family right now.
Maybe your baby is actually a toddler. You may be potty training and just the idea of leaving the house sans diaper gives you anxiety. Or you turn down a lunch date because if your 2-year-old misses her nap, so help me, she will be a nightmare until bedtime.
Maybe you’re a working mama, and you wish you had the chance to go to the zoo or to the museum or to the splash pad with the other stay at home moms. You scroll through your Instagram feed on your lunch break, just aching to be able to be with your babies all day.
I see you. I am with you down here in the trenches of motherhood. One day, mama. One day our littles won’t be so little. One day they’ll be more independent. One day they won’t need you to change their diapers, kiss a boo boo, tie their shoes, or hold their hand. One day we’ll (hopefully) have a little more spare change for lunch dates. One day we’ll be able to do more things with them. One day we will gain some more independence as our kids gain theirs.
So I won’t tell you to “enjoy these years.” I won’t tell you that “you’re going to miss this one day.” Because I know that doesn’t change how hard the days (and nights) can be right now. I know you’re tired. I know you’re spent. I know the FOMO is real.
But let’s make a promise together. Let’s promise ourselves that we won’t let our fear of missing out on the outside world makes us actually miss out on the life we’re living right now.