Just know that I love you. We may not know each other, or maybe we do, and maybe you are reading this now because it applies to you, or it used to, or maybe it will in the future. I love you in those instances too. I love you even though you sleep in your clothes so much there now is no line between clothes and pyjamas and you feel so far away from the you you used to be, it is like a whole new life began with your babies. It did and it didn’t, and there is comfort in both. You are still you, you stinky wreck. And there will be a whole new you after this.
I love you even though your house is spotless but you know, for certain, your baby dosen’t love you. Your baby loves you, but this is the very beginning of your love affair, you know? It takes a while for these things to develop. Even if it was love at first sight, you still have to get to know one another, figure out what you like and don’t like. This is just like any new relationship. Remember that. Taking a while to fall in love does not lessen your bond. Because the most important thing to your baby right now? Food, comfort, sleep, working that poop/gas/vomit out. And you. Always you.
I love you even though you feel like this has all been some kind of mix-up. That you have ended up in a life that you were not looking for, or that you wanted so terribly, that the fact it does not feel like everything you imagined is the worst kind of wrong. A wrong that you feel like might never be right. Give it time. Give it 10 minutes. Give yourself a break. You are strong enough and good enough and you are doing this. You ARE doing it. Just do the best you can, on a case by case basis. Like with everything else. Be patient. Your good things are coming.
I know all the “one day’s’ or the “it’ll be different when’s…” seem so very far beyond imagination. Because you are here, or you were, or you are somedays. And there is nowhere so real as now.
So right now? Open your windows. This was very good advice once given to me. If you can’t do anything else, you can still air your bedroom. Call your person. The person that will listen to everything you have to say, and then tell you a joke. Or tell you they love you. Or who will change the subject completely. Or will ask your opinion on something in the world outside your right now, and value it. Call the person that will make you feel good. Text everyone you know. Shine your sink. Put your kid in a ridiculous outfit. Commune with your dog. Write a list of all your favourite songs as you hear them. Listen to them often. Dance with that bloody screaming baby. Put flowers in every room of your messy house. Be honest with the people who love you about how you are feeling. Be generous enough to let them love you back, even if they don’t say or do all the right things all the time. Remember that sometimes the most important thing is just doing it. Go outside. Change your sheets. Chase your happiness. Say, aloud, ‘it will not always be like this’, because that is true of every situation, and we should choose to see the freedom in that.
And know, when you are crying at the sink or staring at this expectant little face as it screams commands at you in a foreign language, or dying with jealousy at strangers holiday photos, or nothing feels quite right, I love you, and I have been there. And it is going to be okay.
It’ll be better than okay.