A Letter to Myself about Motherhood…so far.

Dear Elin,

I’m writing this letter to myself because you need to hear this. No one told you about the hard parts of motherhood so don’t get mad at yourself when you feel defeated. You’ve been a mom for almost four years, yet it still feels like you are in the postpartum phase. Is it actually true that it’s only supposed to last 7 to 9 weeks? I recently heard that the postpartum phase could last until 7 years old and that helped me breathe because that makes more sense.

No one told you how having a child would impact your marriage. Marriage was already a considerable shift and then a kid made it even more of a struggle. From this short period of motherhood, don’t forget to make time to have fun as a couple. You both had fun together before, which is still possible, but it will take more intentional planning. It’s worth it.

No one told you that after having kids your friendships would shift. It’s going to require at least a month’s advanced notice to plan an outing with your friends. You will try to schedule play dates just to get some adult time. However, you’ve had to cancel some of them due to a cold. That’s something they didn’t tell you either, you will be getting sick A LOT. Usually, after your kid is sick, it will hit you like a ton of bricks but you won’t get over it quickly because you can’t take the time to take care of yourself properly.

No one told you there would be days when you don’t recognize yourself. Your body will look different, your identity shifts and you feel lonely at times. Remind yourself that your c-section scar is beautiful and represents your strength. Your life and identity revolve around being a mom maybe hearing “mom” said a hundred times a day makes you feel that way. Motherhood is demanding but it comes from love.

No one tells you that you’re going through a grieving process. Grieving the life you once had. The alone time you loved. The time you used to have to pursue passions and time to lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing. Sometimes you feel selfish for thinking that way. It’s normal. It’s okay.

It has been hard but at the same time you can’t stop but think “Wow, I did that. That’s my kid.” Your anxiety is still there and it may have even increased but it’s different now. It comes around hard when the little one cries, your alarm goes off with a quickness wanting to ensure they’re good. Remember what your therapist tells you, depression is about the past and anxiety is about the future. That’s about right because you often worry about what he’ll encounter in this world, how he’ll be treated at school, and what impact he’ll make. 

Don’t feel guilty about the days you questioned if you could keep going and felt like you just didn’t have the energy because you kept going. You pep-talked your way to doing the research and reading the same book for the third time during the bedtime routine. Don’t forget how much you love that your son enjoys books, hopefully, as much as you love books.

You have learned so much these past four years, not just about being a mother but you’ve also grown as a person. You’ve become clearer on your boundaries, your needs, and your wants. There is so much ahead. I know you feel burnt out but I know you can do it. You’ve got this motherhood thing.

You get up every morning and do it all over again. When you look into your little one’s eyes you have this deep love and sense of responsibility to make it better…to do better.

Picture of a mother holding her baby for the first time.

On this Mother’s Day, take the time to commit to YOURSELF. Take care of yourself not just as a mama but as the badass mujer that you are. It’s going to take some time and even time away. That mom guilt should NOT stop you. Remember that! You had a whole ass life before your little one arrived. He will respect you for it.

So even though no one told you how hard it could be, you also never would have known how beautiful and wonderful it is. Don’t lose yourself, claim the amazing, strong, courageous woman you are, and continue breaking those cycles so that your son can embrace the future you’re creating for him. No doubt your mom is smiling down at you.

Love, Elin

Get to know more about me. Follow along on this wellness journey @hablandowellness.

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