Unprepared: A Letter from Anna

I had taken the classes, skimmed a few books, spent endless amounts of hours Googling random pregnancy symptoms. I had asked my midwife questions I would never utter to anyone else on this entire planet but nothing prepared me for motherhood. 

I had done it. After 9 long months of pregnancy, way too many midwife appointments, a few hospital stays, 12 hours on Pitocin, I had delivered a 9 lb. beast of a baby without a drop of pain medicine, but nothing prepared me for motherhood. 

I felt alone, I felt judged, I felt as if I couldn’t share my fears because that meant I had failed as mom. That meant I did not know what I was doing. More than anything in this world, I wanted to know what I was doing when it came to the most precious thing in my life: my baby. But nothing prepared me for motherhood.

It didn’t matter if I had my baby in the bathtub or I was completely knocked out. It didn’t matter if I breastfed or gave my baby formula. It didn’t matter if my baby looked like a Gap model or lived in a diaper. I felt alone because I was not prepared for motherhood. But I slowly came to see that those things do not make me more or less of a mom, they do not define me. What makes me a mom is the two blue eyes staring back at me. That’s when I realized motherhood is not something you prepare for - it is something you are.

The room was dark and cool and time seemed to stand still, yet I knew the outside world was going on without me. My high waisted yoga pants, nursing bra, and my husband’s t-shirt was my new uniform. It replaced the scrubs I used to wear so proudly. I looked down at this tiny baby who spent 9 months inside me. He did nothing to deserve my love; in fact, he left me with blow out diapers and a body that would never be the same. I would stare at him with tears in my eyes, and in that moment, I knew what unconditional love felt like, because he had it. No matter what the day held, he had my heart. 

I slowly started letting my guard down and sharing the hard moments with my mom friends. Like when my kid wouldn’t stop licking the bottom of his shoes…that was a fun one. Or the hour-long tantrum over cheese. Or the TWO times my kid took his poopy diaper off and flung it all around his room. It took us a whole bottle of Lysol, 40 wipes, and 1.5 hours of cleaning to even find the diaper. That’s when I realized I was not alone. 

Our stories may be different (praying you never experience the poop diaper adventure), but we are not alone because we are all on this beautiful ride called motherhood together. Some of us are season ticket holders, and some of us are just now entering the theme park, but we are all united together. When I see you at Target, I want to celebrate with you that you made it…because I know the struggle to even get to Target was not easy. When I see you dropping your child off at school, looking like you might burst into tears at any moment, I want to tell you that you are doing amazing. When I see you kiss your baby’s boo boos with those magical kisses, I want to tell you that you are everything in your baby’s eyes. But mostly…I want you to know that you are not alone. 

My heart is with you. If you are a first-time mom or a 12th time mom (God bless your soul), I wish I could squeeze your neck and tell you that you are not alone. Because at the end of the day, none of us are prepared for motherhood. 

So, what does this have to do with sleeping? Everything. You are not alone in sleepless nights, you are not alone in not knowing how to get your baby to sleep, you are not alone in your situation. Having a baby that does not sleep does not make you a bad mom. It does not mean you don’t know your baby. What makes you a good mom is your love for your children and the desire to make a change. We want to be that change. We want to give you the tools to help empower your kids to sleep. We want to give you your nights back so you can read a book, spend time with your spouse, so, girl, you can take a shower and go to bed knowing you will sleep all night long! Because I do not want you to just survive young motherhood, I want you to THRIVE in it! 

I had so many fears when it came to reaching out and asking for help, but I also found so much freedom in knowing it was OK that I needed help. The more I admitted that motherhood was messy and that I needed a village, the more I found freedom. Freedom is a beautiful thing. When my little one was on a schedule and sleeping, I could work out, read a book, or prepare for dinner knowing he would sleep. When I finished these things, we were both refreshed, renewed, and ready to play on the floor. I could have quality date nights, knowing my baby was sleeping soundly. Sleep is so important. We know that, but it also goes beyond just the sleep. It allows us to be the people we are created to be, to do the things that help bring us to life and refuel us. I want to help refuel you! 

I want you to know more than anything that you are NOT ALONE. We want to walk alongside you, cheer you on, be in your corner. 

There is no book, Google article or blog that will prepare you for motherhood because nothing prepares you for the love you have for those two eyes staring back at you. I wish I could reach through this screen and tell you that you are an amazing mama! We want to be there every step of the way as you navigate this thing we call being a mom! 

Sweet Dreams,

Anna Linster

anna@thecradlecoach.com

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