Dear new mom,

Hey. I get it. Your body isn’t what it used to be.

And I know, I know. Everyone says it’s well worth the sacrifice – and I know you completely agree. You wouldn’t trade a flat stomach or perky boobs (or even *cough* symmetrical boobs, as the case may be) for that sweet little baby in your arms.

However – I know it gets to you.

It got to me, too.

It’s like, overnight, I went from glossy hair, clear skin, and a beautifully large (albeit uncomfortable and stretch-mark-covered) belly that I proudly showed off, to boobs that looked alternately like Pamela Anderson’s and deflated balloons, hair that fell out like crazy every time I actually got an opportunity to wash it, and a loose, saggy belly complete with a scar and staples from a C-section.

It was a big shock to the system.I'm so glad to read this. I'm 38 weeks (eek!) and I'm already feeling the pressure of how fast I'll lose the "baby weight"... I just want to enjoy being a mom!

I really didn’t want it to bother me. I wanted to rise above it, because I didn’t want to feel like I was being vain, not with the wonderful gift I’d been given. Especially after such a tough delivery, I just wanted to feel gratitude for my body.

And don’t get me wrong, I totally did. It blew my mind to touch little A’s fingers and toes and realized I’d made him, and he was all mine, and my body was strong enough to do so.

But even with that appreciation of my body, I still mourned for the body I had before. I knew that even if I were to get back to pre-pregnancy weight, I wasn’t going to be able to wear the same clothes. My body was just different.

At this point, my baby istwo years old and I’ve just barely gotten back to pre-pregnancy weight – so don’t necessarily listen to the whole “9 months on, 9 months off” shtick. It may not work that way for you, and that’s okay.

As a somewhat veteran mom (I can hear the moms of three or four kids laughing at me, but that’s okay), I just wanted to talk to you, New Mom, and tell you that if fitness isn’t your priority right now, that’s okay.

If you’re anything like me, you saw the articles on Pinterest about “bouncing back after baby” and saw the before and after pictures of women who looked like freaking supermodels two weeks after giving birth and reacted with a mixture of jealousy and disbelief. I know how hard it is to see those and feel like you’re sub-par – even when you feel like you shouldn’t.

I just want you to know that this time will pass. You will get a shower again. You will feel like working out again.

And yes, you will feel confident again.

In the meantime, I just want you to remember that you, too, are important. Yes, that baby needs all the love and care you can give (plus a little more), but you need to take care of yourself, too.

Try to remember to eat some real food now and then and not just crackers and string cheese (or Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as the case may be.) Your health is important, too.

But if you’d rather get some sleep than eat a good meal? No judgment here. You do what you have to do, okay?

On that note, if the house needs to be cleaned but you’d rather nap with the baby? I won’t judge you for that, either. Especially because now that I have a two year old, my house is literally never clean, even after I clean it.

I just figure it’s another thing that will pass, and one day I’ll miss the craziness and the mess.

New mom, what I want you to focus on now is cradling that sweet baby. Breathe in that sweet new baby scent and enjoy the time that they sleep so much (and heck, enjoy the brief period of time where you can set them down and know they’ll be in that same spot when you come back!) Enjoy being a mom, whatever it takes.

It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but I guarantee it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. So if that baby is your priority over everything else for the time being, do me a favor? Just enjoy it: It’ll pass before you know it.