Motherhood isn’t always easy, some days are tougher than others. I’ll never forget my hardest day as a new mom and the valuable lessons it taught me. I hope you too find the message in the mess of your hardest day.
My Hardest Day As A New Mom
It was a Friday morning, at about 8 o’clock. My entire body ached from another sleepless night. I had just gotten in the shower — a small, but mighty win considering I rarely made it to the shower before noon most days.
“Look at you,” I thought, “you’re killin’ it today – You got this mom thing down.”
“WAAAAHHHHH” ugh, my thoughts quickly interrupted. “Shoot, he’s awake.” I pause for a minute, then glance at the baby monitor through the glass shower door. “Will he fall back to sleep or am I going to have to postpone washing my hair for the 10th time this week?”
His cries get louder – I jump out, quickly dry off, throw on a robe, and hurry towards his bassinet.
“Shhhh” I whisper, as I pick him up and place him on my chest to eat. I start the stopwatch to feed, “10 mins on each side, just like they taught me at the hospital.”
“Ah, ok. You did it, he’s quiet. You got this mama.” Another small, but mighty win.
Fast forward 2 hours later and he’s refusing to nap. Kicking and screaming, nearly an hour goes by.
“I don’t get it?!?! “You’re fed, you’re dry. What on earth am I doing wrong??”
In a last-ditch effort to soothe him, I lie down on the floor of our dark and quiet walk-in closet. Tears rolling down my cheeks I beg him to give in. “C’mon bud, just close your eyes. I know you’re tired.
So am I.”
He drifts off …
Sigh, instant relief. “Yay, you did it.” I wipe my tears and get up from the floor. “You got this.” Another mental pep talk to get me through.
Then, a few minutes later … just as the ringing in my ears subside, he wakes up, even more, upset than before. His face turns bright red and his arms flail around, searching for mine.
Oof. A palm to the face moment. I admit it— the painful, yet oh so obvious truth, “ok, I guess you don’t actually got this.”
Looking back now I can say that was probably my hardest day as a new mom. I’ve since had many many hard days, (and nights) but that was my first.
It was a day I can reflect on now and truly appreciate the lessons it taught me. It was the day I acknowledged being a mom is really really hard work!!
Let me repeat that loud and clear, being a mom, is really really hard work!!
All The Feels
Yes, you’re filled with love… SO much love, but also frustration, doubt, and anxiety.
And . That’s . Ok.
THAT is motherhood.
The feeling of being completely overwhelmed while at the same time feeling as if your heart’s going to burst out of your chest it’s so full.
I try to remind myself of that day when I have other tough moments. I tell myself nothing lasts forever. The screaming, the crying, the brain fog, and migraines after being up all night. Time passes and you just… survive.
You grow, as they grow. Your self-doubt slowly disappears and you somehow find the strength and confidence to care for this tiny being that’s become your entire world.
You learn to lean into their needs and meet them where they’re at developmentally. You surrender to the hard times knowing your baby isn’t intending to cause you to stress, they’re just trying to figure things out – the same way you’re trying to figure out how to be a mom.
You accept the fact they need you, all of you, all the time. And again, you’re reminded that it won’t always be this way — so you soak it in.
If I could go back to that day I was huddled in the closet, crying my eyes out, I’d tell myself that success in motherhood isn’t measured only by the days that go well or “according to plan.” It’s measured by the highs AND the lows.
By the times I’ve given myself grace. By the times I’ve shown up in the face of fatigue.
By all the small wins combined … like that hot morning shower I already forgot about.
Success in motherhood is measured by how I choose to handle the unpredictable and scary moments day in and day out.
It’s every hard decision and sacrifice I’ve made from a place of love.
It’s knowing there is no one better suited for this job or for my child.
You Got This…
So settle down mama, get up off the floor (metaphorically speaking, or in my case quite literally), embrace the tears, the fears, and the chaos… because guess what???
You DO actually “got this”
You ARE actually killin’ it …
today, tomorrow, and always!
Shannon Bonetti is a former TV news anchor turned PR consultant expecting her first child in July 2020. She’s originally from the Bay Area but has lived in Nevada for the last 10 years. When she’s not managing clients, Shannon is usually hanging with her hubby Brett and their two pups Timber and Bentley. Her hobbies are cooking, reading and volunteering with local nonprofits. Her favorite weekend activities include day-tripping to Tahoe or scouring the internet for good deals!