Ancient History

Follow Me?


Open letter to a new mother

Dear Britney,

I read the happy news on the internet. You are a mama. Congratulations.

I am the first to admit how skeptical I was when I heard you and Kevin were bringing a new life into the world. Appalled, actually. Rumors regarding your pregnancy swirled around the world of entertainment for weeks until you confirmed a bun was dancing in your oven. This was shortly after my first pregnancy loss and I was a little indignant that you would be blessed but I wasn’t. Okay, a lot indignant.

Eventually I embraced the knowledge I’m not in charge of deciding such things. So I forgot about you, unless I was in line at the grocery store buying taco makings and I saw you smiling from nearly every magazine cover. You were always in low-rise jeans and a tank top, your blooming belly straining the seams. The Slurpee in your hand and messy hair on your head were proof pregnancy rocked your world a little, but your tummy was glorious and tanned. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a more proud pregnant woman. It was both nauseating and nice to see you revel in your condition.

The news came yesterday. Your son was born. You are now a mother.

My first inclination when I heard was to snort and roll my eyes. I questioned your mothering abilities. Many of the choices you’ve made in your young life are not choices I would have made.

Motherhood will change you. By now you’ve examined every square centimeter of your baby, stroked his hair, smelled him. You’ve felt his weight transfer from your core to your arms. Your breasts once used for business will fill with milk. I have no idea if you are going to use them to nourish your baby. I hope you do. But it isn’t any of my business, is it?

Here he is, an incredible gift from God in the form of a healthy child. Here you are, probably exhausted and bewildered and excited. I genuinely wish you all the best as you begin your new life as the mother of a baby boy. What right do I have to be skeptical of your abilities or your love? You are a mother, now, and so am I. How hurt would I be for someone to question my abilities, my love.

We’ve never had anything in common before. Trust me. But now we do and for that alone I wish you nothing but the best and you and your baby grow together.

And if I could, I’d bring a casserole to your house and throw a load of thongs in the wash. It’s what we moms do for each other when a new baby is born.

Your fellow traveler on the road of motherhood,


15 comments to Open letter to a new mother

  • Russ Eldredge

    Great post Gretchen! I’ll be the first to admit that I am less optimistic about her mothering abilities than you are, and that I truly pity any child that has to grow up in the Hollywood environment, but I truly appreciated the words you penned on this one. Kudos to you for looking for the good in things!

  • Thank you so much for changing my perspective on this Gretchen. I was snobby and catty about her pregnancy. But there is no denying the mother instinct and the overwhelming love (and exhaustion) she must be feeling right now. Shame on me for being so judgemental.

  • sarasos

    Wow, Gretchen, I really like that sentiment, “fellow traveler on the road of motherhood”. It’s something I hope I can remember next time I get annoyed at a friend for not at least attempting to breastfeed or any other parenting choice that isn’t the way I would have done it. Mothering is hard enough without drawing criticism from those people who should really be your allies- other mothers.

  • Shayne

    Ditto Russ and Heather. You make a good point. Who am I to question her ability to love and mother her son? Just because she made different lifestyle choices than I would have and just because I would never let my daughter (if I had one) leave the house dressed in the clothes she chooses to wear, doesn’t mean I’m a better mother than she. I’ll be interested to see the ways in which motherhood changes her. Or doesn’t.

  • sister-of-mopsy

    Oh Mopsy…. your way with words ….”throw a load of thongs in the wash”… that is too funny and I got this hilarious image in my head!!

  • Very sweet words for Miss Brittany! Your offer to throw her thongs in the wash is TOO much, although I have a feeling you would do it if she reached out for the help!

  • live4truth13

    Oh, my! I just love this post-you are so much more refined than I. Very sweet, humorous sentiment.

  • I have noticed that once I had children, it was a hundred times easier to connect with other women. Just being mothers together was enough.

  • What a nice letter to a new Mom – I wish she could read it. I hope she enjoys every step of the journey that is motherhood.

  • I did get a lot of casseroles but no one ever offered to wash my thongs. Oh, wait…I don’t have any. Great post, Gretchen.

  • I enjoyed this post. I also have to fight the tendacy to roll my eyes at the pregnant Brittany pictures. You humble me. I’ll be linking to this post!

  • Tracy (tjly)

    Hilarious post Gretchen! I guess we can only hope that the crass, spoiled Mrs. Federline would be deserving of such graciousness. It will be interesting to see if motherhood changes her public persona at all.

  • AmyP

    Omigosh you are way more evolved in your feelings about Britney’s motherhood than I am! I am still at the “I can’t believe they just let anyone be a mom” stage.

    Okay I just thought about it for a couple more minutes, and I am still at that stage. I mean, this woman isn’t even grown-up enough to be married to an actual man, let alone raise a child.


    Zing her for me with your precise prose, won’t you? Just once? Just for me? 😉

  • I just came here via a link from Bethany. I am SO touched by your letter. My heart goes out to you in your loss. God bless you.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>