Dear First-Time Mom Kara–CHILL OUT!


Dear First-Time Mom Kara--CHILL OUT! | Des Moines Moms Blog

Dear First-Time Mom Kara,

CALM DOWN. Seriously, calm down. You are on the fast track to nutso-Kara, and no one wants that.

Right … so first-time mom Kara is not a fun person. In ideal, pre-baby conditions, you are a FUN person. You are gracious, talk in complete sentences, can make jokes, and can listen with a compassionate ear. But first-time mom Kara is more than a little neurotic and a teensy bit batty (and by teensy bit, I mean a lot. Crying on a walk because your husband kicked you out of the house to get fresh air is a bad sign.) Being new to motherhood and extremely sleep-deprived, well, those things did not bring out the best version of yourself.

Dear First-Time Mom Kara--CHILL OUT! | Des Moines Moms Blog
Swaddled teddy bear.

First-time mom Kara, people aren’t going to do things exactly the same as you would, and the world will not end (this is actually a life-truth, not just a mom-truth). For example, your dear, dear friends who agreed to babysit your child will be able to put your baby to bed without the step-by-step swaddling tutorial and the teddy bear you left swaddled as an example. Dial down the crazy, dear.

You probably did not need to threaten to call the cops on the entire neighborhood the 4th of July when there were fireworks going off at 9 p.m.

Or make Lance go and try to pay off the construction workers to work faster (and quieter) at putting in a new water main just down the street.

And that poor lactation consultant who called you every day for six weeks and gave you her cell phone number so you could call her on vacation — you should probably still send her a thank you letter even though it’s been five years. I bet she remembers you (and your craziness). Because normal people probably don’t chart intake at every single feeding for an entire year. (I actually bought a baby scale so I could see how much my son was eating at every feeding. Amazon Prime exists for new moms who can’t leave the house at 2 a.m.)

Dear First-Time Mom Kara--CHILL OUT! | Des Moines Moms Blog
This was taken after Lucan’s first bath at home. I was a stressed out mess.

I know that all of those little problems seemed insurmountable and huge at the time, and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that everything seems insurmountable to someone sleep-deprived. But listen here, first-time mom Kara. You will get through this. Life will not always be this hard. You will sleep longer than two hours at a time. Your life will have margin again. You will not be ruled by sleep schedules until your dying day.

You will be okay. Seriously, I’m not lying, first-time mom Kara. You will get through this. Take a deep breath. Okay, maybe two deep breaths.

Sincerely yours,

Second-time mom Kara

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Kara Knaack
Kara originally hails from northwest Iowa where she met her husband, Lance, through a 4-H fashion show. After a decade of living in central Iowa, Kara is still figuring out which way is north. Wearing the hat of “wife, mommy, employee, chef, ribbon tie-er and family calendar organizer,” Kara knows a bit about juggling life and work. Kara became a boy-mom in June of 2011 to Lucan and a girl-mom to Gracelyn in December of 2014. Most days you can find her mixing up metaphors and oversharing life’s moments via social media. Kara enjoys yoga, reading, gardening, cooking, sewing in straight lines and singing along to musicals. A spender by nature, but thrifty by necessity, Kara is always in hunt of a bargain. She’s an active member of Northpoint Church and a resident of Grimes. Her vision for life includes “doing the best we can with what God gives us.”


  1. OMG – this. was. me! Those first few weeks are rough. Glad you made it through (and even agreed to have another one). Ha!


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