02 July 2013
Isn't it hard enough?
***Be Ye Warned! Long Rant of a Post***
As I have entered motherhood, I have joined in on so many wonderful things that the title includes. I am less bashful about asking others for advice. I feel a greater sense of motivation in just about every aspect of my life. The forgotten details of life are once again beautiful as Henry helps me rediscover just how fascinating life really is. Just today we watched the sun dance on the ceiling as it streamed through the window while we rocked and nursed before nap #1. I am continually discovering all the other roles I play as I grow into the title of Mother. The benefits far outweigh the pounds of concealer I slather under my eyes to hide the dark circles taking permanent residence. I will gladly give up some sleep to wear the proud badge of mom.
While Henry has his fair share of tallies under "Reasons why Mikael is awake at night", there is another tally maker that I really shouldn't be adding to the score at all.
When I became pregnant and we shared our joyous news with the world, I was overwhelmed with the genuine excitement others felt for us. I had so many sources of support all around me and I feel truly blessed to have as many loved ones as I do. My sisters, friends, and even random strangers lovingly listened as I gushed with excitement, shared my hopes, and vented my frustrations with a growing babe inside of me. I was surrounded by my a circle of sisterhood.
Soon after Henry was born, I relied heavily on that circle to help me through those beautifully difficult first weeks as a mom. Learning how to nurse was a struggle, the will to cook was nonexistent, and showers were few and far between. Ronnie crawled through the trenches with me and my circle of sisterhood cheered me on with encouragement, home cooked meals, and the occasional white lie of "You look great!"
The Baby Blues eased up and Henry and I have settled into a daily routine. I have time to take some breathers now and then and I can connect with others not involved in the daily care of my precious boy. I have joined several Facebook groups to learn more about different methods of parenting, caught up on blogs and have even been able to start a book or two. As I reach out to the world beyond the walls of my home I have found some wonderful advice and support and, unfortunately, a surprising amount of women putting each other down. I have left almost every facebook group I have joined because I cringe at how ruthless the other moms are to each other. Anonymous comments are left on my friends blogs with stinging words of judgement. I have had friends call and text to tell how distraught they were because someone felt it was their right to tell them that their method of mothering was wrong. I, luckily, have felt very little judgement so far but have seen loved ones being shot at the discouraging and angry words of others.
Even though I have been able to dodge harsh judgement and with all the kindness that surrounds me, I catch myself wondering "If other moms knew I didn't do tummy time with Henry today, would they think I was terrible?" "What if 'so and so' knew I rocked Henry to sleep, would she think am spoiling him?" I've seen it a million times, and taken part in it more times than I like to admit. It isn't just moms, but women in general. We have to tear each other down thinking it will make us feel better. We take a toll on those we should be supporting and add to the tally marks under their sleepless night score board.
Isn't it hard enough to get together with friends to then just sit around and talk about what we would change about our bodies or how those extra 10 lbs. look terrible on Suzy?
Isn't it hard enough to figure out how to get a child to bed at a reasonable time without the stranger behind you in the checkout line telling you you're going about it all wrong?
Isn't it hard enough to get dinner on the table without having to turn it into a pinterest, instagram, twitter, or blog sensation?
Isn't it all hard enough as it is?
Having Henry has been a sweet sweet humbling for this opinionated girl. Never again will I judge another woman on her body because this one I'm inhabiting need a little less judgement itself. Never again will I say "doesn't she know better?" when it comes to parenting techniques because I once thought I knew better...and suddenly there was a unique little soul in my arms that challenged everything I knew. So many "Never Agains" so little time.
If I've ever made you feel not good enough, I apologize. I promise to do better. I know I will slip up, but I hope than I can be there for you to lean on more often than I trip you up. I want to be the kind of person that makes you feel better about yourself, because heaven knows we all need to be that for each other. I have so many wonderful women (and men!) in my life, and I hope posting this will help me work harder to make somebody else think, "She made my day a little bit easier".
Posted by Mikael Squire at 4:41 PM