I remember it as if it were yesterday, despite my little man almost being a year old. I remember the fear, the anticipation, and the joy that was present. I remember arriving at the hospital and getting set up on pitocin. I’d heard all the horror stories and I was nervous about labor, but I think I was more so nervous about being a mom. I remember when he was born, a little extra blue and not screaming, but the peace I felt knowing that I had a team of doctors and nurses ready to take care of him. And I remember when they first laid him on my chest and the immediate love. I’d carried this tiny human for 40 weeks and now, just like that, he was here.
I want you to know that it’s okay to be scared. How can you not be? You’re going to be in charge of this little being who is born helpless and you’re expected to teach him how to be an adult, which we’re all still trying to figure out. I also want you to know that, soon enough, that fear will pass. Soon enough, this mom thing will be something you do without thinking and you’ll get it down. Something that I remember dreading was taking him out by myself. I would wait and wait and wait for Dustin to be able to go too. And then, somewhere along the way, I realized that was no longer a fear of mine at all but rather something I enjoy.
The more personal thing, the thing that seems more difficult for all of us new mamas to grasp is this — it’s okay to take time for yourself. No, actually, it’s necessary to take time for yourself. Postpartum depression is real, and it affects more women than you think. I personally remember sitting on the couch bawling and telling my husband that I had lost myself when our son was 2-3 months old. I took the semester off so someone could be home with little man and while I love being a mama, I needed to be reminded that I have a purpose outside of motherhood. I want you to know that those baby blues are normal and okay, but don’t ever disregard those feelings because they’re serious. One way to help combat those feelings, however, is by taking that time to be you. Go out by yourself. Go out with your girlfriends. Get a good, hard workout in. Do what you need to do to be you and to continue to be the best mama you can be, I promise it’ll help.
Finally, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this. First Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” This verse was originally from Paul to Timothy, who was a relatively young man of faith. Paul was a wise individual, so why not share these words with you as well. Because, in reality, people are going to say some hurtful things about you being so young. There are going to be individuals who think you’re crazy, incapable, and that’s okay. Because you and I know something they don’t — you can, you will, and it’ll be wonderful.
Now don’t let me downplay it because being in college with a baby is hard work and not for the weak. You’ll miss out on a lot, but you’ll also be blessed with a lot. All I’m saying here is, you’ve got this. Despite all the emotions that come with it, motherhood is kind of the best.