I'm almost positive there are more than a few new moms who would see red when someone suggested their new life was "easy." However, while motherhood is hard no matter what phase of life you're in, there are more than a few reasons why the first month of motherhood is actually the easiest. No, really. I'm serious. I mean, yes your sore vagina and/or oozing c-section wound might disagree, but maybe finding the easy parts will make you feel better? Maybe? I mean, it can't hurt, right?
I'm an adoptive mom, so my first month of motherhood was certainly easier than what moms who give birth have to experience. I wasn't healing my own body or figuring out breastfeeding or dealing with hormones. However, despite the fact that I didn't have to endure pregnancy or childbirth, I still think there's a case to be made that the first month of motherhood being the easiest. First and foremost, during the first month of motherhood expectations of what you accomplish should be really low. You should be expected to keep that baby alive and little else. Feed, sleep, heal your body, and cuddle your little one are the top priorities and should eclipse all others (if possible, although that isn't always the case).
If you're in the thick of the first month of mom life, here are just a few ways to focus on the little things that make it easier than you think:
Because All Your baby Does Is Sleep
It's not guaranteed, but hopefully your baby will sleep the majority of the first month of their life. They'll likely be feeding on demand, which means you're busy making sure they have a near-constant supply of food, but at least you aren't having to worry about whether they're on a schedule or not. It's sleep, eat, then repeat.
Because You'll Have The Most Help
In theory, during your first month of motherhood you might have the most help from friends and family who are trying to make your transition into motherhood, or the addition of another baby, easier. Trust me when I say, take them up on all the help.
Because People Don't Expect Much From You
In your first month of motherhood, hardly anyone expects you to do anything other than care for your baby. In fact, if I see a mom out with a baby that isn't even 1 month old, I want to give her a medal. Generally, the expectations by outsiders are very, very low for moms in their first month of motherhood, as it should be, so take advantage. You don't have to "do all the things" or try to prove you're superwoman. Just relax with your new baby and settle into your new life as a mom.
Because You Don't Expect Much From you
Hopefully, you'll also have lower expectations of yourself and what you can and should accomplish during your first month of motherhood. Once the baby gets a little older, the guilt about getting dressed or leaving the house starts to creep in, but during that first month you should be safe from all that malarkey (hopefully).
Because Of All The Meals
I didn't actually get to experience this during my first month of motherhood. In fact, we didn't get a single meal at all when our daughter came home, mostly due to the fact that we knew five people in our new city, two of which were our caseworkers.
Next time, I'm hoping there will be a meal train in my first month at home with a baby.
Because (Hopefully) You're On Maternity Leave
We live in the United States, so we can't say it's a given for every mother to get at least one month of maternity leave (hopefully we'll get to say that one day, probably after this current administration ends). However, for many women the first month of motherhood means the reasonable expectation that they will be on maternity leave, either paid or unpaid. You aren't yet expected to deal with the added stress of figuring out who will watch your child while you work and if you aren't in the position to be (or don't want to) a stay-at-home mom.
Because You're Living Off A Massive Amount of Adrenaline
Despite having to heal your body, you're likely still running on that special kind of adrenaline that courses through you after you've had (or are handed, as was in my case ) your baby. That adrenaline does wear off eventually, although for me it lasted about four months, so you have time to appreciate it.
Because You're Still Euphoric
In addition to adrenaline, there's the awe and wonder that you are a mom. For me, that made me feel like super woman for a long, long time. I'd been wanting to be a mom for years, so when I finally became one, I barely noticed being up all night. Well, I did eventually, but definitely not during that first month of new motherhood.