I became a first time mother 10 weeks ago. It has only been a little over two months, but it feels like the lessons I’ve learnt in that time are enough to last till I’m 80. When I see another mum when I’m out and about, I realise how much we have in common. We have so many differences, I’m sure; but the struggles we face, the questions we ask ourselves and the tiredness we often feel are very much the same.
Dear Other Mums,
I saw you today in the supermarket, with your two little ones. One was screaming for the lollies at the checkout and the other was pulling your skirt demanding attention. I saw the look of embarrassment on your face that screamed “please God just let us get out of this store and in to the car”. I also saw the other mum in the aisle watching and rolling her eyes.
I saw you at the coffee shop with your newborn, you had the same glazed over look that I wear every couple of days. I also saw the working Mum, ready for her day at the office and the way she shook her head in assumption that you had no excuse to be tired.
I saw you in the clothing store. You walked up and down with your pram, trying to find something that would accommodate that “I just gave birth” figure. I also saw the stylish, well dressed mum with her designer pram look you up and down.
I read your post on Facebook, when you said you’re struggling in the hope that someone could relate and provide a hint of encouragement. I also saw some of the comments that followed from women who know exactly how that feels but were too scared to admit it.
Can I let you in on a secret? I have those days too.
I’ve had that moment where I’m at the shops with my screaming newborn and copped the looks from passers-by who have no idea that my child has just been fed, changed and there’s nothing else that I can physically do to meet their needs. They don’t know that my child suffers from reflux and this is the only thing that calms her down when she’s in pain.
I’ve had that moment when it’s 2:00am and I’m tired and emotional and I just need to hear encouragement from someone who “gets it”.
I’ve had that moment when I’m out and about and I see a mum looking oh so fine with her newborn and wonder what planet she came from, because in my world looking like that is not humanly possible.
Why are we so quick to tear each other down? The hardest job I’ve ever had is this one. It’s rewarding and beautiful and the best thing to ever happen to me; but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard work.
I’ve never questioned myself as much as I do now as a parent. Google should cut me a cheque for the amount of hits I have given their site in the past 10 weeks.
We need to start pulling back the masks and being honest with each other. We need to stop being so concerned about what people might “think” and being willing to walk up to each other and give a word of encouragement.
- “I’ve been there and you’ll get through it”
- “you’re doing a good job”
- “it’s okay to not have all the answers”
Never underestimate the power of one of these said outloud to another mum. It reminds us that we are human, that we are not alone, and that there is hope.
To the mums who have grown up children, sometimes the best wisdom that you can share, is the stories of the times that you didn’t get it right.
We need to do less of the comparison and more of the community.
So ladies, I’ve got a newsflash for you:
We’re on the same team. Let me spell that out more clearly..
W E A R E O N T H E S A M E T E A M
Let’s build each other up and do less of the tearing down.
Tag, you’re it. Pass it on.