There was a period of about six months after I had my son—my first child—that I nursed him multiple times each night. Every time I woke up to nurse, whether he was in my room or his, I had my iPhone in my hand.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t soaking up every sweet little snuggle and stare, because I was. Well, I was trying. But it was because, to put it simply, in those early days—even surrounded by all the love and craziness of new parenthood—I still felt so alone.
Every night, I would heave my lumpy Mom Bod across the finish line, getting my son down for his first two-hour interval of sleep, with such trepidation, because I knew my time was short. It was the feeling of sprinting across quicksand; I didn’t know how long the freedom would last.
My legs were sore from pacing the same hallway in the house, holding the baby all day. My throat hurt from “shh-shh”-ing him, practically begging him to sleep for at least one long nap (usually to no avail). And my damn C-section scar itched like a mother.
Yet every night—three times at least—it was clear, my sweet little boy didn’t give a damn how hard it was to take care of him; he just wanted Mom. And I happily obliged. I rolled out of bed as many times a night as he needed, doing What Moms Do—nurse, pat, shush, lay down, repeat.
And yes, I loved it. When I think back to those endless days, so packed with struggle and love, frustration and wonderment, my heart actually hurts with joy.
But damn, I felt alone. 3am, 3pm, whenever, it sometimes felt like I was the only mom out there doing what I was doing. And I had no idea what the hell I WAS doing. So there was that, too.
And that’s why my damn phone came with me every time I got up. When I was nursing the baby, I was Googling.
“Normal infant rashes.”
“Why is my baby’s poop green?”
“Is it horrible if my baby flips onto his stomach even though ‘they’ say babies ABSOLUTELY A THOUSAND PERCENT HAVE TO sleep on their backs every time in a 65 degree room???”
Where I went, the iPhone went. And, thank the Good Lord above, what I found out there as I tick-ticked away through the night—the white glow of my screen lighting up the nursery corner—was other moms.
These ladies were just like me! They freaked out about silly stuff! They wanted to know if scheduling worked! They wanted to know how to unclog a blocked duct! They wanted to know how long it took that ugly brown crusty thing to fall off THEIR baby’s belly button too!!!
Praise Jeebus, I WAS NOT ALONE!!!
I will tell you this. There are two things the internet can do, without fail, every time you search for something: Make you feel crazy, or it can make you feel not so crazy.
And in those early days of momming, it was the latter.
In short, to the mom bloggers, I owe my sanity.
So yes, I know it can sound so… well, annoying… to constantly be navel-gazing about the beauty and frustration that is motherhood. And certainly it’s not for everyone to consume, or to write.
But to you, mom who’s Googling through the night—you, who feels so tired you’re weeping; you, whose days bleed together in a haze of exhaustion and emotion and the reek of Desitin; you, who feels like you literally can’t take another step without falling—you are NOT alone. We are all behind you. And one day when you get your Mom Legs under you a little better, I hope you’ll turn around and offer just a few words of truth and wisdom to the next mom in line.
After all, we all need you.