Mom Lays Out Why 'This Shall Pass' Isn't What New Moms Need to Hear
New moms are often on the receiving end of a lot of advice—both solicited and not. And while a lot of it can be helpful, sometimes we find ourselves wishing the other person would have just kept quiet. Like when well-meaning strangers tell a brand-new mom who hasn’t slept more than two consecutive hours in days and is cleaning up her newborn’s blowout (while wearing a diaper of her own) that “this too shall pass.” Sure, it will pass. But how is that helpful in the moment?
Leave it to our tried-and-true truth-teller, Mom on the Run blogger Laura Mazza, to tell it like it is.
On Sunday, Mazza shared a Facebook post explaining that if you’re struggling as a new mother, it’s true that it does get better. But it’s also okay to be overwhelmed and tired and feel like complete mess until then.
“I think telling mothers that ‘this too shall pass’ when they are leaking from all orifices at 3 am while their baby screams with no answer and no reprieve in sight, is great,” she starts the post. “But I also think they need to hear this.”
She then goes on to explain that becoming a mom isn’t always about perfect baby-mother bonding moments and getting your child on the best schedule so that everyone can get a full night’s sleep. More often than not, life gets in the way.
“It’s okay to think, well f*ck me, this wasn’t what I expected,” Mazza writes. “I just went through a massive hormonal outburst and felt like I was 14 again. Fanny daggers, crazy heartburn and was told after pushing out a rockmelon and being peeled like a can of tuna that I am meant to be as happy as a beauty pageant contestant. No. It’s okay to swear right now. It’s okay to be sad/disappointed/angry that the heavens didn’t open up. They don’t for a lot of people. … It doesn’t mean you are depressed, but maybe you are. That’s okay, but don’t feel guilty for that. Don’t feel guilty for how you feel. Ever.”
For a lot of women who’ve spent months thinking about and preparing for new motherhood, it can be hard to admit when reality doesn’t live up to their fantasy version. But as Mazza points out, the best thing you can do in those moments is embrace your feelings and figure out the best way to move forward for you.
“Put down the developmental baby books,” Mazza writes. “I don’t care what ‘Dizzy’ the baby whisperer said your baby should do. If you don’t want routines, if your baby isn’t high-fiving you after guzzling down some milk or sleeping 10 hours because she said so, get that book, create a bonfire and dance naked around the flames. Do what works. For. You.”
In fact, she adds, keeping your frustrations, disappointments, fears and all the other emotions you’re working through in those early days bottled up can actually backfire by making you feel more isolated. The truth is, lots of parents have been where you are.
“Your life isn’t over,” Mazza assures her followers. “You haven’t ruined anything. One day you’ll find ‘you’ again. You’ll be dancing to ‘Time of My Life’ and run-jump to your best friend with a bottle of gin and expect her to catch you. Life is still yours.”
She goes on to tell new moms to give themselves a break. After all, she points out, just getting out of bed during maternity leave is a win. So if your days involve more tears than making memories that’ll last a lifetime, that’s okay. Forget about cleaning the house and find ways to socialize and get outside, whatever little moments will help get you through the new baby haze.
“You don’t have to enjoy every minute,” says Mazza. “Nobody, I mean nobody, not even Mary the Virgin Mother, enjoyed every minute. Imagine paying for swimming lessons and all your kid does is walk on water.”
Mazza ends the post with a final note of reassurance to the new moms out there.
“This too shall pass,” she concludes. “But only because you are strong enough to go through anything and we all believe in you.”
With nearly 3,000 likes and over 600 comments, clearly Mazza’s message was something the mothers of the world needed to hear.
“As a mum of four (now big) kids, I loved this!” one woman wrote. “In the words of Laura Mazza (and Constance Hall)… self-love is awesome and we Mumma Queens rock!”
“I love this,” a second follower commented. “At even 10 months in, this makes me feel better being a mum.”
“Brilliant,” a third said. “Nothing prepares you for the true shocks when giving birth and the day and weeks that follow. But you will always have had the most precious gift.”