Advice To My New Mom Self

by Chaunie Marie BrusieRN, BSN

I’ll never forget the first day I spent alone with my daughter.

After I nursed her, cuddling with her in the early morning hour, I gently placed her down in the bassinette next to my bed and got dressed for the day. I pulled my hair up in a clip and slipped on one of the loosest, flowiest tops I owned, marveling in the ability to wear normal clothes again.

Dressed and ready, I picked Ada up, still swaddled in a soft, green fleece blanket and padded out to the kitchen of the small farmhouse apartment we rented. While she slept soundly in the crook of my arm, I fixed myself a bowl full of cereal, carefully poured my milk with one hand, and settled down on a wooden barstool, proud of my first motherhood juggling act.

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I held my baby all morning, through my breakfast, the morning news, and during a walking tour around the apartment. Not because she was cranky or fussy…  just because I wanted to.

And now, as an “experienced” mother of three, I look back on my new mom self and I want to simultaneously hug her and shake some sense into her.  

I love her because she didn’t listen to anyone who told her that she was holding her baby too much. I love that she embraced that sweet time in her life when she could soak up a whole morning just holding her baby because she wanted to.

But, I also want to tell her that it’s ok to let the baby go to the sitter’s for a few hours so she could get some sleep after working the night shift as a new nurse.

I love her because she worked another job from home during the day, just so she could pay the bills and spend more time with her daughter.

But, I wish she had the strength to stand up for herself and say “no” once in a while.

I love her because she spent every waking (and sleeping) moment with her baby girl.

But, I wish she wouldn’t have feared reaching out for help with her post-partum depression.

I love that she worked so hard to get her body back.

But, I wish she could see how beautiful she is—and enjoyed that 22-year-old body just a little more before popping out two more kids.

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I love how carefully she planned each and every decision for her baby, choosing the “Mommy and Me” music classes, setting up educational arts and crafts, diligently talking to her baby all day so she would learn language. Or how she wanted to prove that she was a good mom when it seemed like every person at the grocery store looked down on her for being a young mom.

But, I wish she would have relaxed just a little bit more and let go of the guiltAnd realized that she is exactly the mother that her children need.

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Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN, is author the blog Find Chaunie on Twitter at @tinybluelines and on Facebook

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