Your journey hasn’t stranded you in the dark, I promise. It’s just thrown a plot twist your way. I skipped ahead. Brighter days are coming! How do I know for sure? Because I’ve been in that same darkness and come out on the other side. Some days, I fought harder than others. Some days? I didn’t fight at all. But more often than not, I fought. For myself. For my sanity. For motherhood. And now? I fight for others. I’m fighting for you, right now. You got this because you aren’t alone.
We see you, struggling so hard. We feel you, with the weight of so much on your tender heart. We are here for you, even when you can’t look up enough to see us back. We stand together, we hold you close, and we promise you, that with this community of acceptance and love we offer you, you will survive. Just call on us, we’ll pull you through. Even when you feel you disappeared, we see you.
Our babies shine light on love we never knew we could feel; motherhood can also hurt in places we didn’t know existed. Undiscovered places suddenly come alive with pain, sometimes within a minute of feeling that surely, our hearts have grown three sizes. This morning, my knee hurts–an old breastfeeding injury. No joke!
Please know that whatever you feel, whenever you feel it, we are here for you. It is safe to tell us. We will not mock you, and chances are, we are kinder than that critical “voice” in your head.
Share your joy, love, pain, and let it go. Let others see it. Practice early and often, because the only lesson I know that applies to all mothers is that there sure are a LOT of feelings involved in this Mom thing.
I have the wisdom of being 17 years out and being able to look back and “know” what might have helped me, a bit, possibly:
1. Please mama, say yes to help, any and all help – so hard, because we are usually the helpers to everyone, trust me, say yes I need help.
2. Honor your sleep, my friend, you are so tired, you cannot keep going, please lay your head down and get 5 hours of connected sleep (that means in a row, at night) so your body and mind can rest, see #1 for help.
3. YOU are the right mom, YOU are the best mom for this baby. YOU were meant to be together, if it means you need some help – therapy, medication, support groups – do wonders, go get help. www.postpartumprogress.org lists all the resources, just reach out, or see #1 and ask someone to do it. YOU can do this. I see mamas do it everyday. You can do this.
YOU? You moms? You’re good moms. Each one of you. Each of us. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes anxiety and a racing heart get in the way of recognizing the truth. Sometimes guilt over just about anything steals the joy we think we should always be feeling.
That joy is OURS. We can own it. We’re allowed. We should. There is no guilt. We did not do anything wrong. It is not our fault.
We’re allowed to feel happy.
We may never have met in person but my love and compassion surrounds you every day. I pass the torch of warrior like strength, the torch that was handed to me- made up of several voices, words of wisdom and compassion, and virtual hugs.
You are doing more than great. You are loving your family while fighting the hardest fight of your life. I admire you, respect you, and support you with all my heart.
It will get better, it will pass. Keep going.
(Laurie DeWoody Hart)