I met my best friend 16 years ago. She was my first roommate and helped me to become the person I am today. She has always been my escape from being a mommy. A window into my single gal years even though we both have been married for many years. This past spring we took a girls trip to Hawaii for my brother’s wedding. It was like being back in that dorm room 16 years ago. During that trip she shared with me that her and her husband were planning on having kids. These were words I never thought I would hear from her. Shortly after our girlcation, she was pregnant!
I was losing my escape!
The past several months have been filled with belly shots and texts about how the pregnancy has been going. Her baby shower did not feel like a baby shower. She has asked for help over the past few months on how to be a ‘good’ mom. Here the woman I have looked up to (or rather down to, since I am much taller than her) for how to navigate through life and come out looking like wonder woman is asking me for help about how to raise her child. As I think about this and as this era comes to a close (the era being my escape to a world where conversations don’t revolve around my kid) I came up with a few suggestions for her
1) Don’t forget about your old self. Yes becoming a mom changes you but you still were a person before you became a mom. You have several months to transition into be a mom when you are pregnant, but the you that you were is still in there. No mommy is made over night. Mistakes will be how you learn, trust me, there was this one night when my own was little that I had no clue what to do and her dad and I were standing outside in the cold trying to decide what to do about a tiny cough.
2) Breathe!! This one I can’t stress enough! The breathing doesn’t stop after the last push (not that I would know because I delivered by c-section) and will save your life during your most stressful times. A baby is hard work and so much easier to soothe when you are calm. Calming a baby down is easier when you are calm.
3) Plan a date. You will need a date with your spouse at some point. Commit to this. You see your spouse in a brand new light when they become a parent. Don’t forget about them. They have just become a parent as well and are trying to figure things out too.
4) Don’t seclude yourself, keep in touch with your friends. There will be some that naturally weed themselves out because you are a foreign creature to them. The ones that don’t have kids give you that unexpected escape when you need it. The ones with kids can complain about late night whatevers with you too. Being a mommy is hard, there are plenty of us out there that totally get it too.