It seems like our society expects too much of new moms and, as a result, new moms expect way too much of themselves. We set unrealistic goals, arbitrary deadlines, and unfair expectations, then set out to try to do it all in record time or at least by your baby's first birthday. There were so many things I thought I had to do by 1 year postpartum, but in reality I didn't. Looking back and thinking about all that unnecessary pressure I put on myself, well, really sucks.
To make matters worse, so many of these guidelines and timelines are completely subjective and not possible for all (or even most) new moms to accomplish, because every mom, baby, and postpartum period is different. Nobody really tells you that, though, and when you fail to meet these guidelines and timelines over and over again, you start to feel like you're doing the whole parenting thing wrong. It is so unfair, and I, for one, am over it. I am going to tell you a secret: I may never lose my baby weight. Why should that be a goal when I am trying to survive motherhood and keep another human being (hell, multiple human beings) alive? Seriously. My waist size should be the least of my worries.
I am so over worrying about whether or not my baby will still be sleeping in my room a year from now, or won't go to sleep without a pacifier at age 3. Hell, most nights my 11 year old still wakes up for a hug or a drink of water. In the long run, none of these things will matter as much as I think they matter now, so why do I waste so much time and energy on them when I'm sleep deprived and scared? The fact is, motherhood is more like a "choose your own adventure" story than a "one-size-fits-all" manual. There's more than one way to do it right and plenty of time to figure things out. Take it from me, there's so many other things you should be worried about than what you are able to accomplish in your baby's first year of life.