Dear Erin

{**Preface – I’ve made no secret of the fact that the “newborn stage” of motherhood is not something I look forward to. I really struggled through this three month phase with both of my girls and am trying to mentally prepare for it one more time. So this is a little note – to me from me. Something that I can pull up and read when I’m in the thick of it. Hopefully it will help.}

Dear Erin,

This is a phase. You will not always feel this way. You will not always look this way. Repeat those three sentences five times. Take five deep breaths. Now read on.

Before you know it your days and nights will be two separate entities once again instead of one never ending black hole. It feels like forever away right now, but in the big scheme of things, it really is such a short period of time.

Be nice to Kenny. Try not to snap at him. Everything isn’t his fault. You’re just tired. In the night, when you’re up with the baby for the fourth time – and he rolls over and half asleep mumbles, “gee babe I’d love to help, but since you’re nursing” …snore snore snore… do NOT smother him with a pillow. This will be tempting, but you need him around to take Ellie to school the next morning.

If you’re feeling depressed, do one of the following. These things always make you feel better.
- Call family or a friend (you have several great friends close by)
- Organize something. A drawer, a closet, the fridge.
- Step outside. Even if it’s just into the backyard for a few minutes. Sunshine works wonders.

- Do NOT go shopping. Retail therapy backfires when you’re still carrying around baby weight.
- Do NOT eat away the blues. This is only a temporary upper that will result in more depression later on. (Besides you ate enough junk food during pregnancy to sustain you forever. And then for a week after that.)
- Do NOT make a drastic change to your hair. Color, cut, OR style. Chances are, you won’t love it and because of the hormonal state you’re in, the consequence of this little decision won’t be healthy for anyone.

Don’t stress when the house is a mess. Don’t stress when the girls are going to school with “daddy ponytails” once again. Don’t stress when at the end of the day you don’t have a nice hot meal ready to serve the family. (Ha! I put that last one in to make myself smile since I rarely have a nice hot meal ready to serve the family.)

Hang in there. This too shall pass. And before you know it, you’ll be going through your pictures on the computer – maybe for a blog post, or scrapbooking, or because you enjoy just looking at them – and you’ll see pictures of your newborn baby boy. He’ll look so unbelievably small and sweet. And you’ll wish so badly that he could be that small again. Just for a few days. So you could smell his cheeks and kiss his little feet and rock him to sleep one more time. Remember this when you feel tired and when the baby is fussy and when the house is a disaster. And try to enjoy every minute you have with your precious newborn boy.

Love, Erin

Comments

  1. says

    I love this. You totally captured what it feels like to be a new mom, what we all go through but for some reason feel bad that we do. Try, as hard as it may be, to just let life happen and live in the moment. This too shall pass (all too quickly). I hope this letter to yourself helps you. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. says

    Cute idea Erin!!

    I especially like the call a friend part. I expect many calls. :)

    You’re so right about the phase part. That’s the motto of my life right now. Like how Eden gets out of her bed 50 times a night or refuses to sit on the toilet unless I lift her up there. Or how Seth refuses to wear anything other than sweats, day in and day out. And don’t get me started on the teenage phases.

    We will survives somehow!

  3. says

    Perfect! You described that “phase” and the feelings that go along with it so well. I will be stealing this letter for myself if/when I have another newborn at my house. Thanks!

  4. says

    Well said sweetie…well said.
    And your p.s. should read….And my MOM is only 6 hours away! Plan on such a fun time with little Kole this time around. One blessing you will love is how Ellie and Addie will love on this little boy. Ellie was too young to be much help with Addison, but that won’t be the case now.
    Oh, and one more thing….I LOVE the NEWBORN STAGE! Wheee!

  5. says

    I always joke that I wish I could give birth to a 4 month old! At least I know I’m not alone. Great letter! Hopefully it will help with those sleepless nights.

  6. says

    Hi Erin-Marc is out of town with our only computer. I am at the car dealership and they have computers here so I am getting caught up!

    I remember walking with you every week right after I had Truman and I was in that black hole! I know you remember it too! And now it is a vague memory…good post! ;)

  7. says

    thank you for this post!! my sister sent me the link to your blog and it is just what i needed since im in this phase right now! i have a 4 week old baby girl and am exhausted ;) but i really want to cherish each second of this newborn time because it will be gone so soon!

  8. says

    I love this Erin! Definitely one of my favorite of your posts! It is all SO TRUE!!! (Why do you think I am not having another baby along with you…Not so sure I can handle it, I’m not as good of a person as you are.) Great advice to yourself, and if you stick to the plan by the end of the Newborn phase you’ll have a lot of neatly organized drawers and closets and you’ll have had some great chats with your Mom and friends (which I better be one of, just cause I can’t stop by, doesn’t mean I’m not TOTALLY there for you!) So, ya, you’ll be totally fine, you can totally do this! I love you!

  9. says

    Oh so true!!! That stage seems to become such a blur and yet it goes by so quickly. Just enjoy the baby especially when it is your last, it seems to go more quickly. I still feel most of these things still, babies just require so much time. You just have to remember you can’t get to it all and it won’t matter in the long run anyway. I type this to remind myself as well.

  10. says

    I love your letter and has such great messages for so many phases in life that we get through that have joyful parts but also hard parts. Love your suggestions but I kind of like retail therapy :D. Gosh, almost 23 years later I remember that phase of my newborn … agree with you enjoy when they are a little older.

  11. says

    So cute!! You will be the best ‘newborn’ mom!! It is easier with three…you learn to be more relaxed, they CAN cry, and it will be okay… your older girls will help out. Just enjoy every moment of it, because, “this too shall pass” the good and the bad of it. They grow much to fast!!

  12. says

    This made me cry about the moments I won’t get back. My daughter is 9 and my son is 6~sigh~life goes by way too quickly!! Enjoy it, you’ll be great!
    Carolyn
    Kitchener On
    Canada

  13. says

    Erin, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s perfectly acceptable to be grumpy and ornery and tired, tired, tired. But I know exactly what you mean–I’ve tried (and failed) to enjoy the newborn phase with each child. My prayer every day and night with the last one was “Please, let me fast forward to 1 year, please, PLEASE” ….and you know what I learned, that’s okay. I am still a good mom. You are so darling! Good luck.

  14. says

    I hope that your third child is just like my third child…an angel. I have cherished every moment – maybe because 1) I’m older? 2) More relaxed with child rearing? 3) I gave up on a clean house years ago? 4) It’s my last baby? However, for me this time, the newborn phase didn’t last long enough. What I wouldn’t give to slow down how quickly my baby angel is growing. Erin, I hope you enjoy this newborn! You definitely deserve it. Love you!

  15. dawn says

    I totally love this post. This would be a great letter for every soon-to-be-mom to get when she gets pregnant. I hope this helps you. This time will pass and the newborn phase is so short. Enjoy every moment, take lots of pictures and journal a little everyday so when you come out of this fog you will remember things about Kole that you want to scrapbook. It is much easier and more relaxed the third & fourth time around. He is going to be like a Prince with all these females around him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  16. says

    Erin,
    I’m not going to give you any comforting thoughts like everyone else. My newborn stage lasted a whole year!!!!!!!!! Whenever I think about having another baby, my eye starts to twitch again… I’m definitely not ready for it. BUT I’m glad YOU are!! :)

    Ha! You will do beautifully. Three is better than two, it just feels more complete. I am really excited for you. The best thing is, you KNOW what to expect. It’s hard, it’s tiring, it’s long, but it’s reality and it WILL end. Way to be practical Erin.
    I loved your post.

  17. says

    Erin, you are seriously a riot! You should win some blogging award. BTW, check out my blog . . . I’m passing the “Honest Scrap Award” to you. Can’t wait to read the post. :0)

  18. says

    I, too, was really nervous about baby #3, not because he was a boy (I was SUPER excited about that) but because I had a two-year-old at the time. My two girls are 4 1/2 years apart, so when Amelia was born, Lily was old enough to do many things by herself. She could dress herself, get a snack, wipe her own bum (hallelujah) and she was old enough to understand that Mama was busy with the baby and she’d have to wait. When Mackay was born, Amelia was 28 months old and she was just plain PO’d that she couldn’t have her mom to herself anymore. The first few weeks were really hard. Read this post on my blog:
    http://suerichardson.blogspot.com/2009/01/adjusting.html

    Now, the good news is that you’ve already done the hard newborn and two-year-old thing and this time you’re going to be pleasantly surprised at how much easier it is with older kids to help. And it is so much fun to watch your big girls love on their baby brother.

    I only have one warning: We were FOR SURE done when I was pregnant with Mackay. And we were FOR SURE done in those first couple of months when Amelia was such a pill. But having a boy has been so much fun and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at my ability to cope with three children. So I think we may have one more. My hubby’s fine if we quit now, but he’s not totally opposed to a 4th, which is a MAJOR consession considering he was done at 2 (Mack was a surprise.)

    You’ll do awesome. Just take lots of pictures in those hard first months, that always cheers me up. And then blog when you’re not exhausted so you can remember all the great things that happen in those first three months.

  19. says

    I know this is an older post, but I am soooo glad this caught my eye! I am pregnant with my fifth and I do not like the newborn stage or even the baby stage. I love my kids and they are so fun and awesome, but I really start enjoying life so much more when they are four! My youngest is five, and I really need to remember how fast this past five years went. I will definitely write myself a note like you did!

  20. Melanie says

    Hi Erin! I “found” your blog from tale of trees. I know I’m a year late reading and posting this but…this post is just what I needed! I’m 9 months pregnant with my third child and I was really in need of a letter like this to myself when the other two children were babies. I’m printing this off and when my baby is here and I have nights like this i’ll have this letter to help me.. Thank you

    melanienorman@mail.com

  21. says

    Dear Erin, I had never taken time to read this cutest of all truest of true letters until now, at 3 a.m. As I feed my little newborn boy. It brought a smile to my tired face. My husband’s too. Thanks! Love, Steph

  22. says

    So glad you included a link to this in your 2014 Mother’s Day post! I’m due with baby #2 in a matter of days, and I know this will be something I need to read and re-read after the baby arrives. :)

    Hope all is well, Girl from San Diego! Your new house is gorgeous, and I love seeing all the pics of new decorating ideas. Take care!

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