Have you paused to recognize what has actually transpired over the course of the last year and taken a deep breath? Have you stood in front of the mirror and applauded your body for the miraculous gift it created for your world? Have you put your hand on the stretch marks painted across your tummy, the tummy that kept your baby warm, safe and fed, and told yourself how beautiful you are? Have you embraced sweatpants, no makeup, a giant tangle filled hair bun and no bra because you deserve all the comfort right now?
Have you acknowledged the bags under your heavy eyes from night after night of constant feedings and let yourself shed some tears of exhaustion without feeling guilty? Have you treated your foggy thoughts and sore limbs with rest during your baby’s naps? Asked for help in times when it has felt impossible to find the energy?
Have you turned your phone off, TV down, and soaked up all that is your baby? Studied their little nose, tiny hands, chubby cheeks, and tucked those mental images deep into your memory to cherish later? Have you smelled the top of their head and completely melted at the smoothness of their skin? Have you held them closer a little longer each time they’ve fallen asleep in your arms?
Or, does none of this feel too familiar because you have been so busy trying to do it all? Trying to check everything off the to-do list every day. Squeezing in time to keep an empty sink, sacrificing rest to keep up with laundry, and skipping your own meals to have shiny floors. Are you only functioning in an ongoing rush, chasing perfection in every corner of your life and feeling as though you are constantly drowning in a pool of burn out?
The only person expecting you to do it all is YOU.
Let it go. The laundry will still be there tomorrow. If your floors are covered in gook, don’t look at them. When your pile of dirty clothes gets too high, shove it in the closet. If your bed stays unmade, lay in it. If dinner seems like too much work, get take out.
Because these days, hours and minutes are meant for healing and appreciating your body, loving your baby deeply and growing alongside each other – all the messy, amazing, terrifying, confusing, exciting, wonderful, upsetting, beautiful moments – they will fly by. You are writing your story right now. You are living and breathing your motherhood journey, building your home and filling your albums.
And the reality is that you will never regret a messy home or unfinished house project when all you can remember are the memories you made and the love you put first.