On Wednesday I had the joy of visiting an old friend and her new baby. We stood on her front porch as her tiny, three-week old baby curled into her.
It made me long for the days my little boy was a new baby. It made me look forward to the birth of our new baby who will be here some time in May.
While my friend was still glowing with new baby love, she was tired and it reminded me of those hard early weeks.
In the middle of our conversation I reminded her she is doing a great job. I sent her a message that night telling her the same thing.
I think as moms that's an important reminder to new mothers. It reminds them that they aren't alone, that they are supported and that they aren't being judged.
It's easy to forget what it's like to be a new mom. You're tired, healing from the pains of delivery (battle wounds if there ever were ones), you have this new person you are trying to keep alive, learning to feed and praying for sleep.
It's easy to look at the struggles of a young mother and inwardly roll your eyes at all that fear.
But I remember how it felt to be on the receiving end of an internal eye roll. Seasoned mothers would say, "well I did X, Y and Z and my child turned out okay."
Or they would quip down their nose, "typical new mom."
So, Mamas, I challenge you all to dig down deep into those memories of new baby love and remember what it was like to be scared, exhausted and feeling alone. Remember what it was like to have a new baby, no sleep and piles upon piles of dirty laundry that smelled like soured milk.
When you cross a new mom offer her a word of encouragement. Offer to hold her baby so she can take a shower, offer to do a load of laundry. Bring food and diapers and chocolate.
Offer non-judgmental advice ONLY WHEN IT IS SOLICITED.
And pray for her. Pray for a new mom. The light at the end of the tunnel seems so far away when you're sleeping in 45 minute shifts.