Mom and writer Chaunie Brusie knows how much of a transition it can be to bring a new child into the world. Between healing, your hormones, and embarking on your new motherhood journey, women can often lose sight of themselves during the newborn phase. In a heartfelt post, Chaunie said it's OK to admit that you're not feeling 100 percent like yourself during this time.
"As moms of babies we hear it all the time: 'You'll have the rest of your life to get back in shape, Mama, enjoy those newborn snuggles!' or 'It goes so fast, just soak it all in!'" she wrote. "And while those things are very true, and something I have said myself to some degree, I also have this to say: You matter too, moms."
"For nine (or so) months, you carried an enormous blessing. You housed and grew a life," she said. "You sacrificed sleep, and your wardrobe, and comfort, and activities you once enjoyed, and date nights because you were too tired, and the very feet upon which you walked because swelling."
While it's great to have family and friends in your corner supporting you through your new journey, carrying a baby is a tremendously personal experience.
"Pregnancy changed literally every part of you and no matter how supportive of a partner you may have."
"Pregnancy changed literally every part of you and no matter how supportive of a partner you may have, that's a journey you walk through alone. And it's not always easy," she said. "It's not easy to not recognize any part of yourself, in a literal, physical, or emotional way. And then, overnight, everything about your life changes with your baby's birth."
Once you have a full-blown human to take care of, tasks that seemed routine and necessary before sometimes don't get done with the same amount of urgency.
"Whether or not you will get to brush your teeth and get dressed in the morning before the baby wakes up; if you will make it outside for some fresh air; if you will even attempt any household chores or to put on real clothes — none of these things become a given anymore," she explained. "And that might seem like such a small, silly thing, but when you don't have a single thing to your day that you can count on, when you don't recognize your own life anymore, it can feel incredibly defeating."
As a mom herself, Chaunie admits that she's lost sight of herself at times. "Right now, I have lost my ability to work, my ability to exercise, heck, even my ability to drink coffee," she wrote. "I have lost all of the things that once made me feel like me."
She explained that while she might not feel like her best self at the moment, the feeling is not permanent.
I don't say those things to complain, or invoke pity, or lament about how awful motherhood is — I say those things because they are true. I say those things because that's my life right now, even though I know it won't be that way forever. I say those things because it's OK to believe that your needs matter too, even when you have a newborn and even though this stage will pass so fast. I say those things because I don't think that wanting a shower without a baby crying or a meal with two arms is a horrible thing, and it certainly doesn't make you (or me) a bad mom, or a selfish person, or even an unfaithful woman.
I say those things because losing yourself in motherhood is hard. Hard is not bad, or wrong, or necessarily forever. It can be hard right now, and that's OK because I believe that when we share the hard parts, we can help each other find our way back to the good parts, too.