psy·cho·sis ★ /sīˈkōsəs/ ★ noun
plural noun: psychoses
a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.
Yes. You are perfectly normal.
Just like you I am sleep, shower, and rational-thinking deprived, but I am here to reassure you that you’re not crazy. Well, let me rephrase: you’re not the only one. I know exactly what you are going through and so does practically every other mom on the planet.
We all tend to need a little extra grace those first couple of months years. Let’s review the facts:
There is a new, tiny human who only communicates by screaming and needs us for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
We haven’t had a good night’s sleep since the strip turned pink.
We haven’t seen our ankles in 90+ days.
And my personal favorite: we’re contending with more hormones than a 13-year-old.
I used to be such a sane person. Really. I wasn’t absent-minded, neurotic, or ever struggled stringing sentences together. Post pregnancy? All bets are off. I can’t even remember where I left my former self.
If you’re anything like me, your nighttime inner dialogue may sound something like this:
7:00 PM “I can’t believe how blessed I am! Look at my handsome hubby snuggling that perfect baby! Could she be any more beautiful? I can’t decide—is that his nose? Or my nose? Or hmmm… maybe my mother’s nose…?”
7:15 PM [Crying uncontrollably– me, not the baby] “I can’t do this. How am I going to do this? God, what on earth gave you the idea that you could trust me with the responsibility of another human being?!!?”
7:20 PM “You’re fine. It’s just hormones. What’s your life verse? ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’ Millions of moms have done this before. It’s going to be OK.”
7:30 PM “Maybe I can sneak a quick shower while the baby naps.”
7:31 PM [Baby starts crying] “Or not. What’s hygiene anyway?”
8:10 PM [Sigh] “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier or more fulfilled. Thank you, Jesus! You’re such a good God. Look at this incredible life you’ve given me.”
9:15 PM “I’d better check on the baby. What if she stops breathing…?” [Stares at baby’s chest… Sticks finger under baby’s nostrils] “Oh phew. She’s OK.” [Sniff sniff] “What’s that smell? Did she…?” [Inspects diaper] “Oh yeah. Yep. Yes. That’s #2. Do I dare change her?… Is it wrong not to?”
9:16 PM [Baby wakes up crying] “Well… that answers that.”
10:00 PM “Ok little one, let’s wrap it up. Mommy’s exhausted.”
10:10 PM “Please, please, please fall asleep. Lord Jesus, help my baby sleep.”
10:15 PM [Staring and cooing.] “I could just stare at her for hours. Could she be more perfect? I still can’t decide on the nose, but those eyes are Nana’s…”
10:45 PM “Shoot! I feel asleep nursing! I’m a terrible mother. What is this? The garden of Gethsemane? Can’t you stay awake long enough to feed your newborn? What if you’d dropped her? Lord, forgive me.”
12:04 AM [Baby wakes up crying] “Hungry again? Why can’t men nurse?”
6:00 AM [Staring at clock.] “Oh my gosh. If the baby doesn’t wake up and eat soon my breasts might explode.”
6:10 AM “That’s it… I have to pump. She could sleep for hours.” [Pumps.]
6:30 AM [Baby wakes up crying] Lord help me.
Momma, I am right there with you, and I promise it gets easier. You are doing such a wonderful job. God made you for such a time as this and so many more precious, frustrating, exhilarating, terrifying, beautiful, messy moments. A few months, well– maybe years, from now you’ll look back, smile, and be glad you gave yourself grace. You are never alone, even in the middle of your crazy. The Holy Spirit is closer than your next breath, and all of us fellow moms are cheering you on. Take heart, sweet Sister!