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The Best Baby Gift I Received

baby giftShowering new mothers with gifts of cute onesies, baby shoes and nursery artwork is one of my favorite pastimes. Emphasis on the term ‘pastimes.’ Because as a new mom myself, I quickly realized that the best thing for a new mom wasn’t a thing at all. It was a card sent by a good friend the week Bee was born. The message contained the sweetest, most thoughtful, “exactly-what-I-needed-to-hear-at-the-moment” words:

Dear Erin,

When I became a mother for the first time, I lost a bit of myself. And I mourned that loss. For a while, at least. (I know now that the parts I lost weren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, and I’m a bit happy they’ve flown the coop.) And while I was celebrating this new life while simultaneously mourning the old, I felt this intense pressure to cling to what used to exist. To maintain the same lifestyle, same friendships, same routine as I did as the childless version of myself. But here’s the truth:

Everything will change. Our friendship will change. You’ll have less time to take an impromptu road trip to our favorite ice cream shop. And when you do pull it off, you’ll be a bit more distracted, toting a sweet baby and juggling a diaper bag while trying to navigate a massive stroller between those tiny retro booths. And you’ll feel this pressure creep up in your mind; this pressure that tells you I’m having a horrible time because we can’t carry on a conversation for more than five minutes without being interrupted by spit-up, tears or diaper changes. 

But Erin, this will be your season for a bit. And you’ll look at me with an apologetic glance (that same apologetic glance I used to give my friends and family), hoping I’m not having a horrible time and praying that this baby hasn’t changed our friendship forever. And my gift to you is this advanced reassurance:

I’m having a wonderful time. I can’t wait to watch you form into the amazing mother I know you’ll become. And our friendship will change over these next few months, but it will grow into something different and beautiful. We’ll chat less about work and more about reflux. You’ll call me at 10pm and ask if my two boys ever went through a nursing strike. And I’ll drop by and leave muffins on your doorstep next time I’m in town.

So consider this a “time-out” from our old friendship. For the next few months (or however long you need), I want you to spend time with your sweet daughter and husband as a family of three. Don’t give a second thought to your old life, to our old friendship. Give yourself the space to accept this new season, and I’ll do the same. And we’ll re-group when you’re ready to take that road trip, and we’ll chat about how incredibly non-kid-friendly this ice cream shop truly is(!). And you’ll see that even though everything has changed, nothing really has.

Read more from Erin Loechner at DesignForMiniKind.com, your one-stop resource for pint-sized inspiration and a daily dose of mom-friendly design.

Or, follow Erin on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

MORE ON BABBLE:

8 Essentials for Your Newborn Baby
The New Mother’s Tool Kit
What A Home Birth Looks Like
On Fearing Your Baby

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