Motherhood is hard. Social media has done so much good in how it connects women and creates a virtual community but I also feel that it’s done some harm for the new mom, too. When you’re a tired, desperate mama who spends her middle-of-the-night feeding sessions scrolling through everyone else’s highlight reels, it’s easy to compare yourself to everyone else and feel like you’re doing something wrong. Well, Mama, I’m here to tell you that you’re not. Inspired by a new mom who is very close to me, today I’m sharing some wisdom, truths, and advice for new moms from my own experience.

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While you were sleeping, I held you tight, kicked back in the old, familiar recliner that keeps the memories of your baby days gone by. These moments are ours alone – yours, mine, and our chair.

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I’m not pregnant. Now that we have that out of the way, I can get right to it. So, if you’ve been following along with me and have read about my long days, my shortcomings as a mom, and my overall struggles with life, you know that I work too much, have a ghastly commute, and barely see my family during the week. Well, all of that is about to change.

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Y’all, this post has been hard for me to write. These photos are hard for me to post. Mostly because in my hearts of hearts, I know I’m being ridiculous. Many of you will read this post and look at these photos and think that I’m absolutely crazy, and maybe I am; you’ll think I have dysmorphia, and maybe I do. You’ll tell me that I look great and that I should be proud of and happy with myself; that the way I think I should look is unrealistic and unattainable. But the truth is that while you might be right, I just don’t like my postpartum body and I’m not sorry about that. Some of you will be mad at me for thinking negative thoughts about myself because you’re not happy with yourself, either… and you’re entitled to that just like I’m entitled to how I feel.

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Crying it out is a waste of time. But not in the way you might think.

With both of my girls, I was a “Babywise” mom (which basically is a philosophy of keeping your baby on a rolling 3 hour schedule of feeding, playing, and sleeping). In Babywise, the author (who a lot of people hate) talks about allowing the baby to cry before falling asleep but checking on them throughout to make sure they’re okay. I took the Babywise approach with A and let her cry it out (CIO) many times. I had a change of heart with E – not because I didn’t think it worked; A slept and still sleeps like a champion. E does, too. But see, as a first time mom having no experience under my belt, I was afraid that I would “spoil” my baby and that she would never sleep on her own if she couldn’t “self-soothe” so I did what the book told me (to an extent). With E, having been more experienced, I adopted the 3 hour schedule but with some small tweaks, including removing CIO (which kind of happened unintentionally, actually). But, this isn’t about the effectiveness of CIO or the studies that go with it. I’m not here to start a debate or mommy wars. This is about what I learned as a mom my second time around.

What I learned is that CIO is a waste of time: A waste of precious baby time.

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