This is me.
This was the first of the two times I was admitted at Labor and Delivery at the hospital in the last week. Everything is technically okay, but really I’m not okay.
It was Halloween. It was my daughter’s 7th birthday. It was her trauma when she found me 25 weeks pregnant and fallen on the stairs. It was her stress when she had to call my husband.
It was the pregnancy insomnia and my daughter’s insomnia and my son’s sinus infection. It was the well child appointment and the flu shot.
It was the terror my children experienced when a huge tree fell in our backyard. It narrowly missed the house and crushed the shrub they pretend is their playhouse. It was the hours of chainsaw noise to remove it on Saturday.
It was the agonizing: do I need to quit this blog that I love – my creative outlet – to be there for her? Will I have more mental bandwidth if I don’t create and write or will the loss of part of me be worse?
A Safe Place for Moms
This past week made me more aware of the need for a safe place for moms. None of my existing groups fit the bill.
I’m looking for a safe group on the Internet where mamas are allowed to be imperfect people first. Where other moms extend grace when we choose the “wrong” word instead of teaching us how we can do better.
Where connection is valued above correction.
Where mamas know they are safe to feel all their feelings. Where other moms recognize that a healthy child and healthy family starts with a mentally healthy mom.
Where mamas say, “hey let me jump in that hole and sit with you for a while until you have the strength to climb out.”
Where moms work from the idea that they really don’t know what is going on inside that other mom’s house.
I’m weary of the subtle and not-so-subtle mom shaming that is pervasive in our culture.
- Related: No More Mom Shaming – free printable
And I’m lucky.
I have a good marriage and a good relationship with my own mom. One of my sister has a son with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder and other challenges, so she gets it even though she is often too busy to talk.
I know many of you lack those supports.
Mama, I See You
When I email my subscribers at my blog every week, I remind them they are good parents. Good enough parenting is a real thing. Science says so.
I see you, mama. I see the heartache. I see the stress. I see the anxiety.
I don’t know if you’re struggling with your marriage, or your health, or your parenting, or your work. But I know you’re lugging around a bag of rocks, too.
You are valuable in your imperfect parenting. You are valuable when you say the wrong thing. You are heard by me when no one else wants to listen.
When that other mom is so entrenched in her own position that she can’t hear your plea for help, come on over here. It’s okay that she can’t be there for you, because we can.
We provide ideas, we use printable visuals, we share laundry hacks and time management strategies, but we don’t “should.”
We don’t live in your house after all.
And we believe people can be different and still be good people.
My Promise to You
I am going to be vulnerable on the internet and I’m going to share messy hair hospital pictures so Google can index them for eternity. Because it’s important to me that you feel companionship in this parenting journey.
But I’m going to mess up. I am a human person. I will say the wrong thing. Just ask my husband.
But I won’t should on you. I won’t tell you to take the higher road when you’re in crisis. I won’t demand you perspective take when you can’t even imagine your next step.
I will lead this community with compassion imperfectly. Please join me.