Life After Birth: Your First Few Days Alone

Life After Birth: Your First Few Days Alone

Coming home with your new baby is such an exciting and happy time! Whether it's your first, or you have just added another one (or two) to your bunch, you are bringing home the newest most precious thing in your life! Many people get to have extra help the first few days after having a baby; maybe your husband gets to stay home, or your mom or mother-in-law comes and stays for a few days. It surely helps the initial shock! But what happens when that help has to go home to their normal life?

When I had my first baby, my husband got a week off of work, and my mom was able to come and stay for that first week too. My mom went home on a Sunday and my husband went back to work the following Monday. About half way through the day, I was wishing that I would have planned my help a little better so that I didn't go from two to zero on the same day! It may be different for some, but I did not settle down into motherhood in just one week.

My sweet daughter had really bad acid reflux and constant gas, no matter what we tried with breastmilk or formula. From about 4 p.m. until midnight, she was crying a majority of the time, unless she was nursing. Ironically, nursing was quite a struggle for us too! So all around, I just felt like I couldn't do anything right, and that was very much so exasperated when I was suddenly home alone.

I spent the first few days trying to "get back to normal" with tears running down my face. My husband received multiple calls and texts in those days from a wife that was trying to play it cool and pretending to be strong (he, of course, saw through the facade because I'm not good at pretending). After a few days, I realized with his help that I had to change how I was trying to handle things. The trick for me was to let go of a few things.

Let Go of the Old Normal

Although I believe that you should not completely lose yourself in motherhood, I do believe that you have to be aware that some things just have to change--especially in the beginning! For me, I had to mentally decide that my life was different now and begin to adjust to that. Obviously, I knew that I would be able to adjust and resume certain old normals, but I still needed to emotionally accept that things were now different.

Let Go of Certain Expectations

Prior to becoming a mother, I never really knew what it was like to literally not have enough time to clean the house or run the errands I needed to, among many other things. I was a doer, and felt most fulfilled when I had a to-do list that had been completely crossed off at the end of the day. As you can imagine, that was not about to happen with a newborn that mostly wanted to be held and bounced all day.  Once I lowered my expectations for my to-do list, I started to find a little more comfort. It surely didn't happen in one day and I had to give myself some seriously positive talks, but it helped little by little!

Let Yourself Feel

I spent so much of my time just trying to be strong and hide my feelings. I wanted to be a rockstar mom like I had planned to be since the second I knew I was pregnant. But seriously, I had only been a mom for a week! The days that I let myself feel, rather than bury my feelings, I felt like I was slowly climbing the mountain, rather than just running into the side of it over and over again.

Becoming a mother is beautiful, but messy. The first few days at home resuming normalcy have the potential to really scare a mom! It doesn't matter if you are going from zero to one, or three to four, you have to accept change one day at a time! The best thing about it? Every day is a new day. If you're feeling pretty bummed about how your day went, you get to try again tomorrow. One week will pass, then two and three! Slowly you will feel more like that rockstar mom you planned on being!

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