When I think back to being pregnant with my first son Reed, I remember talking with girlfriends, family, and old ladies in the grocery store about all things to do with this baby in my belly. (Maybe not so much talking with, but more like being talked to.) And everyone was full of advice!
Make sure you get the epidural. Make sure you don’t get the epidural. Make sure you ruff up your nipples so breastfeeding doesn’t hurt. Don’t let the baby ever sleep in your bed. Make sure to sleep when baby sleeps. Don’t pick up the baby too often, you will spoil them.
OMG!!! Seriously! Everyone was so full of advice, and always wanted to share.
The Advice I Never Got
But no one ever shared stories about how isolating having a new baby could be. I never heard anything about how I might feel unfulfilled, lonely, or overwhelmed. What was this lumpy bumpy strange body I was left with? I often thought “I thought I had my baby. Why do I still look six months pregnant?” and “Why am I leaking, from far too many places!?” and “What do you mean I can’t put you down my babe, Mama needs to pee?”
I was living on a 2-hour schedule: feed, sleep, feed, sleep. The exhaustion was like nothing I had ever felt. The breastfeeding journey was so incredibly HARD! And then trying to keep up with it all; the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, being a partner, and trying to some how recover after this major life event of creating, growing and giving life to my perfect baby boy. I thought it was supposed to be beautiful, joyful, and celebratory! Sure I celebrated. You know, if I got to shower or not! But those quiet, long lonely days, where I sat on our front steps waiting for 6pm to hurry up and come, just waiting for my husband to get home…no one talked to me about those days.
It Takes A Village
No one talked about how important it was to form my circle, build my tribe, or grow a village. No one ever talked about the value of building up a community and being able to talk with others about what you are experiencing, feeling and going through. I love this quote from @naturalmamco “It takes a village not only to raise a child but also to raise a mother.” Yes, yes, and yes to this!
The best advice I never got was how important connection is! Connection, conversation, and community are such an important part of our postpartum journey. Being able to connect and talk with your circle, your tribe, your village – whatever you want to call them – heals! It’s natural medicine. Sometimes all we need is to feel validated in our decisions or feelings. Hearing someone say “I feel the same. That sucks. I’ve been there. You aren’t alone. I’m here for you. How can I help?” can have such a tremendous impact on our wellbeing. Building up your circle of support is an important part of motherhood, and that’s why “They Call Me Mama” was created. This Mama is here to support and help you grow that circle, in our parenting journey, one mama at a time!
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