Dear Harlem Mama, Exhausted new mom barely hanging on

Dear Harlem Mama,
I have a new baby and I planned to be one of those moms documenting as much as I could of her first years. I am so exhausted, I can barely find the camera when the milestones happen. Parenting looks so beautiful on tv, magazines and mommy blogs. I feel like I am barely hanging in there.

Hanging on by a Thread,

Dear Hanging On,

Oh my sweet dear. Welcome to reality. It looks so great on tv and some mommy bloggers may give you the impression that they gave birth to perfect angels and life is now absolutely amazing. Yes, we all have amazing moments but one of the hardest parenting moments is when you are not 100 percent but you are still required to function at 100 percent as a parent.

This job, parenting, is by far the hardest job on the planet. Not only do spend half your life trying to keep your little one alive, you also have to instill values and independence so they can thrive on their own. While other mammals are off the hook much earlier, we average 20 years.

You have every right to honor your feelings. But one great truth is that it gets better. They eventually do get potty-trained a diapers are retired. They eventually start doing things independently, like pouring their own cereal or taking their own bath.

Right now, your main job is to get rest when you can. Sleeping when the baby sleeps is the best advice I give to new moms. This is a major adjustment to a new sleep schedule, or, honestly, lack of it. Ask your loved ones to support your need to recharge on your own. Me time is important. You are usually the first one sacrificed when children come into the mix. Remember that that is not necessary and in the end the whole family suffers if you are exhausted to the point you can do for absolutely no one. Avoid that point. Take care of yourself.

If you want to catch more of the amazing moments, invest in a good smartphone with a strong camera. This device can be Mommy's best friend because it is usually nearby. Plus, sign into BabyCenter.com whenever you have a parenting question. I like their advice and others love finding other mothers who can relate in the forums. I am sure there are other sites, but that it is what I used during and after my two pregnancies.

Don't stress and compare yourself to those you see and those you read. Most likely, they are professional writers sharing their pictures, tips and stories as a source of income. It may look extra perfect because it needs to. And trust me, it is never always like that. We all have our screaming moments. But we all can get through them if we remember to love ourselves as much as we love the children.

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