I know. I can't believe they let you leave the hospital with a brand spanking new baby either, with no more than a few printed sheets of paper, a half-deflated congratulatory mylar balloon and hope and a prayer.
The good news is? You won't break the baby and you will survive. In fact, there's this crazy little thing called Mom-Nesia that usually sets in during those first six weeks of your newborn's life that I firmly believe is in place so that the human race doesn't eventually die off. Because if we could all recall those first six weeks? I'm fairly certain there would be a lot of only children in this world.
Congratulations, New Mom and welcome to the hardest yet most rewarding "job" you'll ever have in your entire life. The good news is that being a Mom is likely the easiest job you'll ever have. Now, I didn't say it won't be exhausting or emotionally and physically draining but you'll soon note, it's pretty darn easy. In fact, it's all of the other "stuff" that makes it difficult.
You'll be surprised at how quickly that "mothering instinct," the one you may have never thought you had, suddenly kicks in. It kicks in about as quickly as do your Mom Claws but that's a letter for a whole other post. But like I said, being a Mom is simple. Being the one thing your brand new baby needs? Comes much more naturally than you'll anticipate. It's the rest of life that becomes difficult.
The laundry. The cooking. The cleaning. Self-hygiene. I'm here to tell you that it's OK. Eventually you'll find contentment in the little accomplishments. One load of laundry every couple of days is no big deal, even if it had to cycle through the dryer four times. And if you manage to fold it and put it away? You deserve a trophy. A really, really big one.
You'll soon learn how creative you can be when it comes to taking a shower and just how much "baby crap" you can fit in that too-small bathroom of yours to enable you to do so. I'm talking the bouncy baby chair, the crib mobile, two blankies, a change of clothes, seven pacifiers and your 110lb sheepdog. Oh, you don't have a sheepdog? Sorry, that must've been me I was referring to.
I failed to mention this will only allow for a five minute shower. During which you will be singing "The ABC's" at the top of your lungs.
Speaking of self-hygiene, don't be surprised if it falls by the wayside during those first few weeks. You'll soon consider your day a raging success if you find time to brush your teeth. You'll absolutely blow your mind when you can sneak in a 5 minute shower. You suddenly won't care so much anymore if you don't have time to deep condition. The only one who sees you all day is the baby anyway, and believe me, he doesn't care how soft and silky smooth your hair is.
Don't be surprised at how little sleep you'll soon need to function either. It will likely be slightly reminiscent of your college days, minus the binge drinking and fraternity parties. But remember how you could party all night and still make it to your 8am class with some semblance of order and matching clothes? That's kind of like how motherhood is. Although some days, your clothes won't match. Just be prepared.
You'll get really crafty doing things with one hand and even your feet at times. You'll leave the house thinking you're prepared for a quick trip to the store and likely return three times before actually embarking on your destination because you forgot something or the baby needs to be fed. Again.
Spit-up or some other newborn bodily fluid will become your newest accessory. In the beginning, it will gross you out but as time wears on, you'll simply lick your fingers, dab at the stain and upon realizing it ain't going to disappear anytime soon, proudly sport your new "mom-badge" because you simply cannot venture back into the house one. more. time. to change your clothes. Remember, your laundry is sitting in the dryer, waiting to be dried for the fourth cycle.
And in no time, New Mom, you'll look back at those first six weeks and wonder why you were so worried in the first place. Soon enough you'll have your proverbial New Mom Sh*t together... enough... and all the other Really New Moms will look at you with envy wondering just how you do it and do it so well.
And you'll recognize that look, smile at them and reassure them that it will all be OK.
And twenty-two months down the road, you'll find yourself sharing all that you've learned on a friend's blog in a Letter to New Moms.
Good luck, God speed and don't forget to laugh at yourself.