I’m a Sisterhood of Motherhood Partner but as always my thoughts are 100% my own.
There’s no sugarcoating it…motherhood is hard. And without support it can be even harder.
I know this all too well. With Mabel, I’ll be the first to admit I was in a bit of shock after delivery and the title of motherhood had been bestowed on me. I felt a bit overwhelmed, nervous, and somewhat inferior like I wasn’t the best mother that I could be (read about my breastfeeding challenges here). I just wanted the best for my daughter.
I didn’t have a bunch of close friends (we had just moved to the area a few months prior to Mabel’s birth due to my husband’s military career) and we didn’t have local family for support either. So when I met with challenges such as difficulty breastfeeding and simple things such as getting a break here and there, I didn’t have anyone to help offer advice or help. BUT being a blogger, I’ve met a ton of great women online and I was able to seek out help through the online community (I still owe a lot of you readers for your support!).
I still to this day remember being completely wrecked and sad about how breastfeeding hadn’t worked for Mabel…and how there was an email waiting for me in my inbox one day. I was almost hesistant to open it since I had received a handful of comments basically telling me I hadn’t tried hard enough to make things work or that I was somehow a lesser mother because I hadn’t breastfed her (not sure what the intention of the commenters were…to make me feel bad or make themselves feel good?). But upon opening the email, it was from a momma spilling her heart to me and telling me that she had had similar issues…and that I was a great momma for doing what I needed to do to feed my daughter. She had said I didn’t need to be so hard on myself and that my daughter was healthy and happy because I was doing what I needed to do.
I don’t think that momma knew how badly I needed to hear that message she had shared.
I had been desperate to know that I wasn’t alone, that others had gone through the same thing, and that I was still a good mother.
It truly is amazing how a little bit of support can go such a long way and I really can’t thank her enough for the boost that she gave me.
Now…with my second child, Millie, things have been different. I have friends at our new base, an even larger community of support online (I’m very thankful for you ladies!), and we are closer to family. I have the confidence that I lacked when Mabel was born and haven’t felt overwhelmed as many times (who doesn’t feel overwhelmed when realizing how much cleaning needs to be done after having a newborn home for a week…the laundry just piles up, lol!). Breastfeeding is even going smoothly this time around. What a difference each pregnancy/baby makes. 🙂
So take a second and if you know a new mother (or any mom), maybe consider giving her a compliment, offer support in anyway you can (even helping with a smallest thing can make a huge difference), or better yet, tell her she’s doing a great job and is an awesome mother. It might just be the one thing she needs to hear that day.