Month 1 with newborn.
I had never known undereye bags like these, or the longing for a free minute in the bathroom, or the urge to jump in the shower and clean out the hours of sweat drenching my skin from this new seemingly sedentary– yet never more active– life: where I migrate from couch to bed to couch to bed and back to couch, feeding my tiny, precious, human being out of my body.
And I had never known this piercing love either, as I look down at him suckling with joy. The space of the heart fills with wonder at this (tremendously hard work) miracle of a new life.
My apologies to those who get no answer when they ask me how I’m doing. And excuse my blank look when you say “Good morning! Did you sleep well?”
This month has held many moments: eternal moments, and fleeting moments, and all possible emotions that the human heart could conjure. I can tell you of the darkest spaces of the mind that I have faced alone at night, after giving milk already five times even before the 4am baby cry alarm.
I have also come to know the sweetness of my newborn’s yawn, that last perfect tiny yawn that is his plunge into deep sleep, and that gives his mother a green light to gather a piece of extra energy from one (full!) hour of sleep before the break of dawn.
To those who are listening, and wondering how to support the new mother, I tell you: tell her the three magic words:
I got it.
(aka: I got _______: the laundry, your dinner, the kitchen cleanup, your breakfast, holding baby while you shower, keeping you quiet company.
Try not to ask, but resolve; be there to take something off her shoulder, so that she can fully surrender her shoulders to holding this little tiny perfect new soul.
Let her know she can have space to access her own inner silence, past the weeds and murky territories of her scrambled brains. Remind her it’s ok, she’s beautiful, she is enough.
Month 1 with newborn.
My past life has fled, as has the way I used my body and my time. Now, each moment is full, rich, mysterious, and the perfect call to just Stay Here, to be in the Present (for sanity sake and because this precious moment is so fleeting and unique).
Mamma, worry not about the things you once thought you had to accomplish, or the list of tasks you wrote down once calling them your projects. They can wait. Time is most compassionate.
Your project now is to let go of every single strand of thought that holds you back from plunging into your un-made bed. Your goal right now is to give yourself full permission to focus your unfocused mind,
so that you may drop everything,
and take delight in your new love,
and then go to sleep for a while.