I’m still adjusting to being a mom. Me? Like for real? I have had this little guy for 13 weeks and it feels like a blur and mix of so many emotions. It hasn’t been easy, and there have been days when I have thought I’m not cut out for this, this gig sucks, or even I am really crap at this parenting thing.

But wait, I’m meant to only talk about the joy stuff, right? Like how my little boy stares at me after finishing a feed or how angelic he looks when he’s sleeping. He is absolutely adorable, bias intended. But these Huggies moments make up about 20 minutes a day. And those “new mothers” on the commercials who have their hair brushed and have matching clothes on with glossy makeup and folded up laundry put away—while cooing to their newborns—you are all liars.

Brushing hair is a luxury only afforded when I have had time to wash my hair, or for that matter, have a shower (thank God for dry shampoo).

I’m still looking for the magical cure for sleep deprivation and understand now why it’s used as a legitimate form of torture in war tactics.

At a recent parenting class we were asked, “What have you learned about yourself since becoming a mom?” Nearly everyone around said they were handling the lack of sleep “better than they thought they would”. Me? All I could think of is what I wasn’t handling: the tiredness, the not knowing what the baby wants, the lack of me time, the new demands on my marriage, the business I put on pause, the all of a sudden stay-at-home mama role I’m in.

I’m sorry to disagree with nearly every other mother I have spoken with, but none of this comes naturally to me. Every part of motherhood has to be learned.

I signed up for this journey and am very blessed to have this little man. I don’t want to seem ungrateful or, worse, un-motherly.

But I have learned that you can be grateful, blessed and a little broken at the same time.

I thought I knew what surrendering looked like—then I became a mom. I thought I knew what selfless looked like—then I became a mom. There’s a new me that’s building here and I have always committed to being authentic throughout my journey.

I have wrestled with what to say, what to share and how it would come across (I’m a coach darn it I need to be motivating! I can’t talk about how hard this is!).

But I’m kind of sick of seeing all the filtered #momlife posts that look so darn perfect. And easy. It’s betraying the whole point of motherhood. It’s fierce. Relentless. And demands absolutely all of you. Because how dare we share the hard stuff, the ugly moments, the angry times when I think I don’t even know who I am anymore. The early mornings and the late nights. When I sometimes resent my incredible husband for being able to go to work or stay in a hotel on a work trip (even though I know he has his own non-parent stresses to deal with). Of missing my old life because it was so much more free.

I’m so thankful for my inner circle who tell me the truth: sometimes you hate it, sometimes you love it. It gets easier, you’ll find yourself again but it takes time and right now, just be in this season. You’ll find your groove. Yes it’s worth it but some days you’ll beg to be over. And ignore all the advice you continue to get, it will just drive you crazy. Do what you need to take care of you. It ain’t forever.

Thank God for the sisters who will share their hardness, their vulnerable moments and their own journeys. It makes me know this is all normal. I’m not defective. I’m not a failure. I’m brand new. I’m 33 and learning a whole new world, language, and lifestyle (colic, dream feed, and football hold being popular conversations as of late).

Nothing awesome in life is easy to attain, achieve, or succeed at—no matter how many filters you put on it to make it look effortless. There are tears, self-doubt, new anxieties that never existed. And just like in business, there’s no shortcut in motherhood. You gotta take the stairs (and probably a breast pump too).

To the men supporting us women, thank you for being the rocks we can lean on when we feel we have nothing left to give.

And for all you mamas out there, the soon-to-bes, the newbies  and the experienced mother hens: you are amazing. And no matter how you feel right now, you have everything you need to do this never-ending job in front of you. There’s no instruction manual, but you have a world of sisters who have your back and a God who has created you to be the caretaker of His precious ones.

Now, high-five yourself and go have a glass of wine. You deserve it.

With love,
Another sleep deprived mama.

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Dear New Mom, You’re Killing It

Dear Mama, This Part of Motherhood is Your Beautiful Mess

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Rachel Reva

Rachel Reva is a global media strategist, coach, writer and founder of ‘Life On Her Terms’. She lives in Australia with her husband and son.