By Guest Blogger Shannon Burghart

A few days ago a mom of three with a newborn came up to me looking really wonderful and I asked her how she was doing. She put on a big smile and said, “Oh, great, thanks.” But, I saw the look in her eyes. So, I asked her some more and the more we talked she finally broke down and told me that she felt like she was losing her mind. The baby wasn’t sleeping, she wasn’t sleeping, she hated her husband, and she felt like she had no control over anything. Then she instantly started saying how guilty she felt for having any of these feelings. She knew she was so lucky to have healthy children and her husband was so great. She kept asking what was wrong with her that she was crying all the time and being so unappreciative of all of her blessings.

So, I told her, she was sleep deprived, she was hormonal and she was doing the hardest thing in the world–all in a society that talks about how beautiful motherhood is! Now, don’t get me wrong, motherhood is beautiful, fabulous and wonderful! I love my kids and wouldn’t trade them for anything. But that doesn’t mean that I love every minute of being a mom and it doesn’t mean that being a new mom is fun or easy or that every mom feels that new mom glow every minute of every day, if at all. So, I’ve made it my mission to bring light to the subject to make sure that every new mom knows she’s not alone.

If you’re one of those women who never had a negative thought or the one who is depicted in all of the pictures then I applaud you and wish you nothing but continued joy, please don’t take offense at any of this. I just think we do a disservice to ourselves by not acknowledging out loud that it’s hard, really really hard!

I think that beyond the sleep deprivation and the hormones, one of the hardest parts of having a newborn, whether it’s your first or your fourteenth, is feeling alone and like you are losing your mind. Society makes us feel as if we are supposed to be living in this baby utopia so when we get tired and crazy; we add feelings of failure to our list of guilt feelings.

I will never forget when my son was a month old I took my kids to the park and ran into an acquaintance. I was horrified because I looked like death (no sleep, spit up on my shirt, etc). She just looked at me and said, “It’s so hard isn’t it?” We have since become very good friends and I tell everyone I know how she saved my sanity with those few easy dead on words. It was just what I needed at that time. Someone who understood that it was hard, not who was just going to tell me how cute my kid was and how great it is to be a mom, but wow isn’t it hard!

So, to all the new moms out there…you already know that your baby is a beautiful blessing and I’m not discounting that, but I am telling you to cut yourself some slack. It’s hard work. Here are a few things I’d like for you to remember…

~ You’re not crazy. You’re hormonal and sleep deprived. That does some crazy stuff to you, but you are not crazy.

~ It will get better.

~ You will eventually get some sleep.

~ It will get better.

~ No, everybody else is not better at this than you; some people may just fake it better.

~ It will get better.

~ Talk to your friends –everybody goes through it, but for some reason we don’t talk about it much. If you really feel out of control talk to your doctor and take his/her advice.

~ It will get better.

~ Be kind to yourself in your self talk. We are our own worst enemies. Give yourself a break and remember…

~ It will get better.

~ Best of all, once you’re past it, for the most part you only remember the great times of the early days, which is probably why we only talk about the beautiful smiles, cuddles, and coos of newborns!

Do you have words of encouragement or new mom stories you can share?