The other day I read a blog post that made my heart sad. Written by a doula and mother herself, the author described how new mothers will not get anything done post-baby.
She discussed how a new mom probably won’t shower as often as she would like, clean the house at all, and basically not be productive in any sort of way she was were before having her baby. She went on to tell new mamas that this was their new reality, and they may as well just accept it.
While the post was well-written and may have been reassuring for any new mama who might find those situations becoming a reality, it still saddened me. Why? Because the author presented this information as though it would be true for all new mamas.
I know many new moms feel the way this doula described in her post. I know having a new baby can be exhausting and at times you may feel desperate and overexerted. I know some babies are extremely demanding and can make new parents feel like zombies. I know.
But those experiences are not guaranteed for every new parent.
Posts like those scared me something fierce when I was pregnant. I’m big on doing research, and I read many blog posts about pregnancy, twins, feeding babies, changing diapers, breastfeeding and pumping, preemies, and any other baby-related topic you can think of.
I read too many posts that told me what life WOULD be like instead of what life MIGHT be like. And you know what? Most of them were wrong.
After the birth of P and C, I was on maternity leave for their first three months, had a two-month employment break, and then began working from home part-time when they were five months old. I also picked up some part-time work for my sister.
My husband took off one week after we brought the girls home, and then worked a crazy amount of overtime (anywhere from 5 to 26 extra hours in a pay period) due to a big increase in demand at his job.
Even raising twins and working from home, with and a husband working overtime, I was still rested, showered, and happy. During all this I kept up with the laundry, the dishes, and the cleaning. I never went more than one day without showering, and I tried not even to do that.
When people came to our house it looked presentable, smelled clean, and was not cluttered. I can count on one hand the amount of times I felt desperate and melted to a puddle of tears on the floor.
Now I want to be clear about something: I was extremely blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who helped out during those first few months, a luxury I know not everyone receives. I also have to hand it to my husband because, even with all that overtime, he always came home ready to do whatever needed to be done. He is amazing!
I’m sharing this because this was my reality, and it might be yours, too. Key word: MIGHT. Articles like the one I read the other day present these blanket statements and make it sound like they apply to everyone. They don’t.
It’s time for people to start presenting their life experiences as their own and to acknowledge that everyone walks through life differently. If someone you know is expecting a baby and worried about what the future holds, I encourage you to share this post.
To other parents out there who feel the need to caution new parents about what they’ll “miss out on” or what negative things to expect (which are both extremely subjective), please reconsider your words. A little encouragement can go a long way!
Hello! I am a work-at-home mom to twin girls and a canine. I’m learning what life looks like when you surrender to God. Passionate about parenthood, marriage, and all things coffee!