We have some of the most amazing clients at The Green Stork. Kate Michaletz has been down this pregnancy road before. At our last prenatal we were discussing her postpartum plan. It’s something we chat about with all our clients. I caught her off guard and the memories came flooding back. Transitions are typically difficult. There is a period of adjustment for everyone. Even our four legged babies feel the changes and tension. This is the perfect time to allow grace into your home. Actually, invite her in! Pull up a chair and ask her to stay for a while.
After our appointment Kate continued to think about how best to prepare for her postpartum recovery and how best to transition into parenting multiple littles as her best self. She wrote this beautiful letter and has given us permission to share it with you.
These days and nights are so long. And just when you feel you can’t give any more of yourself to this tiny, vulnerable human, you muster up the strength and willpower you didn’t know you had and you make it through.
1.You owe nobody, anything. Priorities right now are your baby and YOU. That means no apologizing for not wanting visitors 24/7, or for not responding to texts or returning calls.
2. Sleep when baby sleeps is a cliche piece of advice, but valuable nonetheless. There will always, always be chores + tasks to get done but nearly everything can wait (or be delegated). Lay down and TAKE THE NAP. A rested version of you will be the best version of you.
3.Speaking of delegation: find the family members + friends that don’t just want to come over to hold the baby. Invite those over that you can ask to throw a load of laundry in, empty the dishwasher, or unpack the grocery delivery. People want to help—don’t let their offers go unanswered.
4.Be kind to your body. It’s really awesome for Karen or Felicia down the street who bragged about wearing their pre-maternity jeans home from the hospital, but that’s NOT the norm. Your body just grew an entire freaking human, an extra organ, birthed and are now making food for said-human. Skin stretched it ways itself in unprecedented ways and internal organs arranged themselves like they never have.
5.It’s okay to miss life before baby. It’s okay to have scary-thought days. It’s okay to feel resentful towards those that aren’t sharing your struggles right now. Reach out to your mom tribe. Husbands are so supportive, but they just can’t relate on the same level. Someone has gone through what you’re feeling right now. Normalize talking about it and having those tough conversations.
6.Reminder: You will sleep again. Your body will feel like yours again. You will settle into a “new normal”.
7.People’s opinion of your parenting + choices are none of your business. You’re doing the best you can with the information you have. Let’s not forget how powerful that momma instinct is.
8.It’s normal + okay to want time and space away from the baby. You don’t need to want to spend every waking moment feeding, holding and tending to someone that’s not you. After feeding baby, hand her off and lock yourself in the bathroom for a long bath with a good book, go for a solo drive with a coffee and a good podcast️, take a walk solo…. fill your own cup and do not feel guilt for doing so.
9.Feeling like you’ve hit a breaking point, being frustrated, feeling “touched-out” is so normal and doesn’t make you a bad mom. Turn to others for support and relief. Recognize your needs + get used to verbalizing them—it takes practice gets easier the more it’s done.
10.You are enough. You are what your baby needs. It can be so frustrating to feel like you’re doing “all the things” (baby is fed, napped, dry diaper) and still doesn’t seem satisfied. It’s not your fault and is not a shortcoming of your caregiving skills or ability to connect with this tiny human.
11.What you’re seeing on social media is a highlight reel. Do not compare your journey to others’, and if you find yourself down that path: step away from it and shut it off. Disconnect.