Tomorrow, your baby comes home.
You've had some time to get your head around this... or maybe not. It is the greatest Christmas Eve. The night before so many long nights and short days. I hope you're having a date night, or at least doing something for yourself. I hope the nursery nook is organized. I hope you slept last night, cause you probably won't tonight.
I hope you know you'll rock this. Even when you think you can't. Even when giving up seems like the only option. I hope you know you'll find a way. I hope when you can't find a way, you call for help. There is no shame in this.
You'll fuck things up. We all do. You do what needs doing. No shame in this either. Your family has gone from two to three overnight. You're the grown up. You're somebody's parent. Some days, you're gonna suck at it. What seems impossible is only a moment in time. Breathe. You might not know how to love that baby right away. It will come, and when it does, it'll be bliss.
It is normal for routine to make you feel empty, but to need it for yourself and for baby at the same time. Babies throw curveballs. Expect the unexpected. It's ok to wish past phases, and hope for a difficult patch to be done soon. You don't need to love and cherish every moment just because you're a parent now.
Just because you chose and wanted this, doesn't mean you need to be grateful for the shit of it. It's allowed to suck. Make a matcha and sit in the suckage. Then move along when you're ready. You're also allowed to grieve your old life. Even the best situations, maybe weren't your original plan.
When in doubt, try a bath for baby. Try a walk. Get out of the house. The tides will change. Your parenting instincts will shock you. You're going to be the expert on this tiny human. You will know in your core when you're sure you're doing the right things, other than the times you will doubt yourself to the moon and back. You count in all of this. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
I hope you know how much they will love you, and how lucky that tiny human is. I hope you know you have a village. I hope you always know you are enough.
*Written with the generous contribution of Mom's Club London members.
Jackie Anger is a London, Ontario doula, a mama to an amazing toddler, a community advocate, and a lover of coffee.