I remember the first morning home after the birth of my first baby. I sat in my bed and cried my eyes out. Between lack of sleep, blood loss, hormones, etc. I was an emotional wreck. This was supposed to be a joyous thing, beginning the journey of motherhood, something that I had wanted and yet here I was with this little baby in my arms and I remember the overwhelming feeling that I was responsible for this little life.
The next week at my 1 week post delivery appointment, I was still a bundle of twisted emotions. When my OB/GYN told me about a breastfeeding support group that met once a week, I decided I would go. Not because I needed breastfeeding support, but because I needed support in general. Here I was, in a major change of life’s seasons. I was beginning the journey of motherhood, mourning the “loss” of who I used to be, and trying to find who I was now that I was a mom. Not to mention how this affected my marriage, and the list goes on.
I remember that first meeting, feeling nervous, out of place. Thinking that maybe everyone else had this thing called being a mom down pat and that I was the only one who was a wreck. As we went around the room that day, seated in a circle with our newborns laid on blankets on the floor in front of us, I began to realize there were other women who found themselves in a similar place. We cried together, we laughed together, we got mad together, we shared life.
Fast forward almost 5 years. Those moms who I met that day, are still my friends. We met together for nearly a year in that room, not so much because any of us needed help breastfeeding our babies any more, but because we needed each other. We needed the support, the hand on the shoulder, the listening ear as we cried and the “atta girls” with the victories and milestones. We were all from different walks of life; different faiths different beliefs, some even from different countries, but all of that didn’t (and still doesn’t) matter. We were there because we shared one thing in common; we were moms and we were on this journey together. To me, this is the perfect picture of what community really is. It doesn’t matter what side of town you live on, what your belief system is, or what your income level is; we are united together in motherhood. We are moms, we are strong, and we are still there for each other.
In a world where criticism comes so easy, take a step back. Remember when you were a brand new mom; remember what that felt like? Then open the door for the mom carrying the infant carrier, offer to hold a baby so a mom can get her coat on, and most of all DON’T judge. Remember back to that day, when you felt the emotions wash over you and offer an encouraging word instead or just a listening ear.
To my mommy friends from “group”. I love you, I can’t believe our babies are going to Kinder in the fall, and thank you for sharing life with me.