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Let's talk about something difficult.

Becoming a mom is hard.    

A lot of new moms come into my gym with "the look" - the, "wtf did I just do" look. 

I know this look, because it's a bit like looking in the mirror.

In my first year postpartum, I had a lot of moments that felt deeply shameful, deeply difficult, and deeply life altering.

I think all new moms experience this to some degree, whether we like to admit it or not.

But, why don’t we talk about it?

I hated the first 3 months of becoming a mom. I was not ready for the change it would bring to my life, my marriage, and my sense of self. It didn’t mean I hated my daughter. It’s the opposite actually – I loved her more than I could have ever imagined loving anything – but this tension between being a “mom” and being “Laura” was ever present, and so difficult to navigate.

It took me a LONG time to be okay with even admitting this information, because for so long it made me think I was a “bad mom” for ever feeling this way.

I genuinely thought all my dreams were over. As if for some reason becoming a mom meant I didn’t get to have valid dreams, goals, or wants beyond the walls of Motherhood. That’s how it felt in those dark 100 first days. Looking back with a now (almost) 2 year old, I know this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Being a stay at home mom was not something I ever wanted. Being a mom wasn’t something I ever really dreamed about, either. I love owning my businesses, growing, and learning, and all of that felt like a lifetime away. 

However, when you’re living in the mud as a new mom – it can be hard to see beyond the walls of the screaming, crying, extremely needy, hungry, refusing to sleep newborn.

In my first eight postpartum months, I had a lot of negative thoughts. “Is this my life now” and “what have I done”, being the prevailing two. I was miserable, with my pride and desire to “achieve” at motherhood holding me back.

I didn’t share these thoughts, because I was ashamed. So, I let them eat at me. To the point where I lost myself. A lot of therapy and self discovery later, I feel like me again, but I wish I’d been more honest with myself and my loved ones earlier.

Despite being surrounded by strong, capable, moms new and ‘old’ every day, I couldn’t share it.

Now that I find myself on the “other side”, I want to be open and honest with women about these feelings, and create a safe space for sharing them. While some of my mom friends didn’t experience these feelings at all, a few of them did, and still do. It would have been so freeing to have shared it then.

If you’re going to ask a new mom how they are, REALLY ask them. If you’re not willing to get into the mud with them, and give them space to share how they REALLY feel, you’re probably better off not asking at all.

Don’t leave it at, “it’s beautiful”, “congratulations”, “he or she is so cute!!” or “enjoy it”.  Yes, having a newborn is those things, but it is a lot of other things too. To be there for a new mom, and I mean REALLY be there, give her the space she needs to feel all the feels.

If you are feeling any of these things, know you are not alone. While its hard to imagine while you’re in it, it does get better. Reach out for help, talk to someone you trust, or reach outside your circle and find a professional who can support you.

I’m with you.

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