The new mom paces and pats and shusshes and sways. She’s convinced that she and her bundle of screaming raw nerve endings are the only two people in town wide awake.
She walks laps around the living room, makes up silly songs. She hasn’t showered in three days, hasn’t left the little house in four. While everyone tells her to Cherish every second! You’ll blink and they’re grown!, time, for her, stands still.
She’s trapped and tired and it’s supposed to be the happiest time of her life. It isn’t.
It’s a lonely existence, that of the new mom.
During that time in my life I was given advice by the boatload: Sleep when he sleeps. Nurse on demand. Don’t forget to take time for yourself.
I ate it all up, eager and enthusiastic,with the zeal of a convert. I’d joined a new religion, one of 2 a.m. wakings and unidentified rashes, of colic and mastitis and proper car seat installation. Each night I prayed to the gods of the parenting books, dog-earring chapters and highlighting words.
But in all of the advice I was absorbing through osmosis, a singular source helped me the most: the mommy blog.
One night when sleep wouldn’t come but worry flowed like water I couldn’t pick up the phone. I couldn’t call the moms from daycare or the sweet older women from church. The baby books told me everything I wanted to know about establishing a sleep schedule and when to start solids, but it couldn’t tell me this: Am I normal? Am I doing a good job?
But I could turn to the mommy blogs. I could read the experience of women who weren’t afraid to share their fears. Their failures. The way they, too, woke worried in the night.
As a seasoned mother of three, the youngest of whom is in the potty training trenches, it’s easy for me to forget the new mom stage. It’s tempting to live in the future, when parenting is more mental than physical. No matter what motherhood stage you find yourself in, reflecting on the past is a useful exercise.
Today I’m sharing some of my current favorite blogger moms and the lessons I learned from the blogosphere. Share it with every new mom you know- it may just help her as well.
Top Photo Credit: BabaSteve/Flickr
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.