An Open Letter to my friends as I figure out Motherhood

Dear Friends-

Bear with me, as I figure my life out.  You see, I have no idea what I am doing and I am learning so much about myself in this process.  When I have my baby, please do not come to see me in the hospital.  Before or after the birth.  I am a monster.  I am tired. I do not feel human. If you ask to come, I will feel the need to shower and put make-up on for you.  You will tell me I “didn’t need to do that”, but I did.  For myself. I need to create the illusion that I have my crap together, and I need you to believe it.  Leave me to be make-upless, smelly, tired, and grumpy with my family.  Do not send me or the baby gifts/balloons/flowers to the hospital, my poor husband has to drag all that stuff to the car, because when they wheel me down the car, all I am carrying is my baby. 

When I get home with my new bundle of joy, I will be freaking out.  Do not leave it up to me to invite you over.  I have no idea what time it is, what day it is, the last time I showered, or the last time I encountered the outside world.  I will never invite you over.  It isn’t that I don’t want you to visit, it is that I can’t remember to do it.  Invite yourself, and be specific about days and times.  I’ll tell you if it doesn’t work.  I’ll be honest, unless you plan to entertain my 3 year old, shoot for his nap time.

When you show up here, do not come without food.  Dear lord, bring me something to eat.  DO NOT ask me what I want before coming, I will be polite and tell you “nothing”.  I do not have enough brain power to tell you what I want, or where to get it from.  If you bring me a frozen dinner, which I very much enjoy, make sure it is something that again, requires no brain power.  I need simple instructions- turn on oven, heat for an hour, put in your mouth.  Keep it simple. The greatest gift I ever received, was a gift card to local food delivery place, you know what I am talking about, right?  Where they go to local restaurants and order your food, then deliver it to your house.  Life saver when I went back to work and forgot to plan dinner, my baby was screaming in my face, and my three year old whining that he didn’t want dinner.

I know you want to be helpful, but do not offer to clean my house.  I just have visions of you going through my drawers, or discovering just how dirty my house is.  Gifting me with a cleaning service, may be more valuable to me than those cute outfits you found in target.  I will always feel compelled to clean before a friend comes over, just do your best to ignore the dog hair and random toys I try to hide in the couch. 

The most important thing you can do, is let me complain and cry.  Do not judge me for not thinking that motherhood is rainbows and puppies.  Parenting is hard, and it is REALLY hard in the beginning.  I feel really guilty and alone that I don’t think motherhood is magical all the time, and I need my friends to let me know that it is normal.  If you don’t have your own kids, just listen to me and offer me tissues.  If you are a mom, it helps me to hear some of your struggles.  I want to be able to laugh and feel like I am not screwing up my kids lives.  I do not want to feel alone.

Brace yourself, you are going to see my boobs.  My child nurses all the time.  ALL. THE. TIME.  So, you are bound to see a little bit more of me than you every planned to.  Just roll with it.  I do not want to hear your comments about my choice to breastfeed.  I do not want to hear your opinions about my choice to pump at work, or my goal to keep my baby formula free for a year.  Just so we are all clear on this, I respect every mom’s choice to FEED their baby.  I do not care how your baby is fed, FED IS BEST.  Respect my choices, because frankly, your opinion doesn’t matter to me on this topic. 

As I continue on in this journey we call parenthood, please do not offer me advice that I did not ask for.  If I am complaining about how my son won’t stop screaming, do not tell me how you got your kid to stop screaming.  I promise you, I have been trying EVERYTHING and will continue to try to make my baby comfortable.  If I want your advice, I will blatantly ask you for it.  It will be in a form of a question “Hey, did your baby ever have constipation issues?  What did you do for that?”  Be on the lookout for those context clues.  Otherwise, I am just venting and need to get it out, or I will lose my mind.  

To my kid-less friends you may not understand my life anymore.  That is fine.  Just don’t forget about me.  Do not assume I will never come out again.  Keep inviting me, I have a husband, who is capable of parenting too.  I obviously won’t always come, and I may not be able to keep my eyes open, but please don’t forget me.  Also, know this, I am judging you every time you say you are tired.  I laugh at the past me who thought she was tired. 

Lastly, to my friends who are struggling with getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or on the fence about having a baby.  I am thinking of you.  As someone who had a miscarriage, I know I struggled every time I saw a friend have baby or get pregnant.  I remember not wanting to talk about it and trying to put on a happy face around my friends.  You do not have to do that with me.  It is okay that you are having a hard time with me having a baby.  I get it.  I am not one hundred percent sure how to maintain our friendship going forward, but know that I love you.  It is okay if you don’t want to come visit me or talk about my baby (I do have other things going on…..surprisingly).  I will not be upset if I don’t hear from you for a while.  But know that I think of you daily, I may not always reach out, but I am thinking of you.  My heart has pings of pain when I remember my loss, and it aches for your struggles too.  When you are ready to come around, you can find me at home trying to figure my life out.

Thanks for being my friends, I hope you stick around!

 

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