Context is everything when it comes to parents’ social media posts, which is something we’re reminded of when we look at how Meghan McCain shared the first image of her daughter, Liberty Sage, on Instagram.
The 2-week-old baby girl is a sweet little sleeping bundle, embraced by a makeup-free McCain in the photo she posted on Wednesday. “Bliss,” is all she wrote as a caption.
What if this were the only kind of thing McCain shared on her social media accounts? We could imagine that motherhood is nothing but baby cuddles for those who do it just right. Mothers who struggle with sleepless nights and breastfeeding problems and postpartum depression or anxiety could feel like they’re doing something wrong.
Which is why we’re glad that this is NOT all that McCain has shared in her first weeks as a mom. Last week, she took to Twitter to ask, “I just wanted to know if your nipples can actually fall off from breastfeeding?”
Breastfeeding parents the world over could feel her pain. We also understood the very mixed emotions that may be behind her Instagram post on Tuesday, in which she shared a photo of two full bottles of breastmilk.
“I’m Liberty’s milk machine these days… 🗽🐄🐮🗽” she wrote. She may be feeling both proud for having produced so much milk as well as slightly dehumanized after having a machine attached to her to get said milk, as the double cow emojis indicate. It’s OK to feel both things, especially when newborns aren’t exactly giving back affection in return yet.
Overall, McCain is really enjoying motherhood so far, as she wrote on Instagram last week.
“Motherhood is euphoria,” she said. “All of the clichés have come true and exceeded well beyond my wildest expectations — it is hands down the best thing I have ever done in my entire life and I am completely in awe of our daughter. Having Liberty is like observing my entire heart live and exist outside of my body. She is a little wildcat — beautiful, strong, alert, already so full life and spirit… I only wish I had done this sooner.”
Because motherhood is all of those things, the pain and sleeplessness is well worth it.