New moms getting asked what they do all day with their newborn feels like an urban myth, noh? Yet, it still happens and puts already vulnerable moms on the defensive. If anyone asks you that question, it's like they're saying why aren't you superwoman? Sigh.
Motherhood isn't just a full-time job — it is arguably the most daunting and challenging job in the world. It's why you need that maternity leave. It's not a vacation — your baby will need you 24/7.
Anne Rust, founder of MamaSeeds and prenatal and postpartum advisor, perfectly sums up how your life as a mom begins in an essay for Motherly.
"You will not get anything done when you are home with a baby. And anyone who told you otherwise is not being very forthcoming (or perhaps they just have a lousy memory)," the mother of two wrote. "You are becoming a mother."
It involves keeping your baby clean, breastfeeding, and helping him learn about this new world. The journey to motherhood that started with two lines on a pregnancy test kit is still on. "You’re simply responding appropriately and with patience (through fatigue), to smiles, to tears, to hunger cues, and to drowsiness, teaching your baby how to navigate this complex and (to a baby) highly emotional and raw world," she wrote.
Rust ends her essay with words every exhausted mom should read: "The next time you find yourself wondering how another day is gone and nothing is done, stop. Hold your baby — feel the way that tiny body strains to contain this giant soul — complete, and full of potential all at the same time," she wrote.
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"Take a deep, slow breath. Close your eyes and measure your day not as tasks, but as feelings, as sounds, as colors. Exhaustion is part of it. And it’s true, you will get 'nothing' done."