Those first days are so full of happiness.

But they are full of worry as well. So much you realize you don’t know, so much to learn.

Most of the time you just stare at that new baby and shake your head and wonder “am I doing this right?”

You are doing it right.

You are doing it right as your eyes meet his for the first time and you know your world is changed forever and simultaneously that you were always meant to be his mom.

You are doing it right as you hold her tiny hand in yours and pray she knows how much you love her.

You are doing it right if your sweet baby was taken too soon, whether you got to hold them in this world or not, and your heart beats their name with every breath you take for the rest of your life.

You are doing it right if you are exhausted.

You are doing it right if you look at that little being and think, “Wow, I am responsible for him forever!”

You are doing it right if you look at her and think, “Forever isn’t long enough.”

You are doing it right if you bottle feed. You are doing it right if you breastfeed. You are doing it right if you feed your baby—end of story.

You are doing it right if you always wonder, “Is he eating enough?” Or, how could he possibly be hungry again! (Note: this doesn’t ever change!)

You are doing it right if you get to the end of the day and have no idea what you did. You are doing it right if you get to the end if the day and think, “Did I do enough?”

You are doing it right if you place your sweet baby in the hands of a caregiver or relative so you can go back to work. You are doing it right if you put work on the back burner and stay home with your baby. You are doing it right if you do what’s best for you, your baby and your family.

You are doing it right if you want to raise strong, capable, independent children . . . but still wish you could protect them from hurt and harm with every ounce of your being.

You are doing it right if you rock her to sleep and hold her a little longer just to hear her fluttery sleepy breaths. You are doing it right if you can’t wait to lay him down and tiptoe out of the room to finally have a minute to yourself.

You are doing it right if you think your body may collapse with exhaustion. But you get up again in the night, get up early in the morning, listen to one more story from your toddler, or stay to do something fun “just one more time, Mama!”

You are doing it right if you can’t wait for bedtime but still want those moments to last . . . 

You are doing it right if you notice the curve of his cheek has changed slightly. He looks just a bit older and it pains you and makes you proud all at the same time.

You are doing it right if you see your child and also envision the adult she will become—praying, hoping that you are teaching and shaping her in the best way possible.

You are doing it right if parenting feels natural. You are doing it right if it doesn’t.

Every baby, every mama, every family is different, but know this:

You are doing it right, mama. Because you think that question in the first place. Because you will never stop asking that same question, even when they are grown and have babies of their own and that question moves to the past tense. Did I do it right?  

I know this because you care if you are doing it right and because I still think the same questions every day . . . four babies later. I know this because you are their mama and you love them—with your whole heart. Keep on loving that baby and know that you are doing it all so very right.

You may also like: 

Dear New Mom, It Gets Easier

I Forgot What It Was Like Until I Saw You, New Mom

I Hold You Still

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Candice Mrazik

Candice Mrazik is a military veteran, former elementary school teacher, current military spouse and a mom to 4 (3 boys and one girl). With 12+ years of parenting under her belt she is still getting used to the ever growing height of her boys and the family laundry pile. She enjoys walking, writing, traveling with her family, dark European chocolate and couldn’t be more thankful that her hands are completely full.

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