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Hi, Sweet Mama.

 

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Hi Sweet Mama,

 

I saw you standing in front of that mirror, looking at your postpartum body being WAY too hard on yourself. Those dimples. Those stretch marks. Those bags under your eyes. Those new gray hairs and wrinkles. I see them because I have them too. I get it. But you know what? All of those "imperfections" or "flaws" are your story. They're part of you to remind you that you are a mother. A beautiful human, inside and out, who brought life into this world. 

 

I see you comparing yourself to other moms on social media; their seemingly "perfect" lives, "perfect" kids, "perfect" spouses, "perfect" families, "perfect" HGTV homes, "perfect" bodies....it's overwhelming to suddenly find yourself comparing each and every aspect to your life, your body, and your soul to a stranger's. That would be hard any day, but even harder when you're a new mama with fluctuating hormones and emotions. But, let me remind you that social media (and the media in general) is a highlight reel. Just as you should never compare your beginning to someone else's middle, you should never compare yourself to anyone, ever, online OR in real life.

 

As mamas, we all know the real-life struggles. The mama who planned on breastfeeding whose baby just won't latch or is failing to thrive and turns to formula. YOU ARE A WONDERFUL MAMA, AND FED IS BEST. The mama whose baby refuses to nap so is struggling to find a routine or her sanity. YOU ARE A STRONG MAMA, AND THIS TOO SHALL PASS. The mama who heard breastfeeding makes you lose all your baby weight, but is still struggling to lose any. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL MAMA, AND REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE MORE THAN A NUMBER ON THE SCALE OR SIZE OF A WAISTBAND. LIVE IN THE MOMENT. The mama who is struggling from postpartum anxiety or depression. YOU ARE AN INCREDIBLE PERSON AND MAMA, AND YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU ARE NOT "DIFFERENT," AND YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS. The mama who is struggling to find her village. YOU ARE AN AMAZING MAMA, AND WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. The mama who feels like her life is forever changed and nothing will ever be the same. YOU ARE _____ (INSERT YOUR NAME THERE) 2.0, AND YES, THINGS ARE DIFFERENT AND HAVE CHANGED, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU WON'T FIND YOUR NEW GROOVE AND A NEW KIND OF....EVERYTHING. The mama who is struggling in her marriage as you became new parents. YOU ARE A WORTHY MAMA AND PARTNER, AND YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS; DON'T BE AFRAID TO SEEK OUT COUNSELING OR OUTSIDE RESOURCES. The mama who is feeling overwhelmed. YOU ARE A MAMA FINDING HER GROOVE; DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. 

 

Being a mom certainly challenges you physically and emotionally. There are body changes, hormone changes, and major life changes as far as day-to-day routines, becoming a parent, and either navigating through marriage or raising babes solo. Wherever your life path has been, and wherever you are headed, you are strong. You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are a mother. A spouse and/or a sister, a friend, an aunt, a human. An incredible human. Times may have changed, but you will find your new normal, and will write your story of motherhood. Give yourself grace, patience, and the ability to embrace change and let go of "perfect," because, sweet Mama, this journey is yours and no one else's, and that's what makes you and your version of motherhood so special. 

 

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Shelley Hopper

Mama to a cub just trying to bloom with grace. Wanderlusting where the air is salty and life is sweet. FIT4MOM Digital Media Manager and Editor. Food stylist + blogger at @saltysweetseasons. Chips and salsa obsessed, golden retriever lover, and single mama to sweet babe, Tanner Kai, who's my whole wide world.

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