Constance Hall reminds us why moms need the support of our girlfriends.
One of the hardest parts of motherhood — especially new motherhood — is that it’s incessant. Constant. Everything about it is relentless. You think you know this when you’re pregnant, and you’re so ready for it. But you don’t really understand. When you’re home and healing and exhausted, it’s so difficult to articulate what it is you truly need — from your husband, your family, or your girlfriends. Constance Hall, a wonderful blogger and down-to-earth mom, reminds us that we’re not alone in feeling this way.
In a post she shared earlier today, Hall shared her memories of new motherhood and offered her thoughts on what we should all do in order to better support one another.
“The constant stress of “have I bonded with this baby? I’m so tired and resentful, is that normal? With one leaking tit hanging out of a maternity bra, a flap of empty skin hanging over your nickers and a pad the size of a nappy hanging around your mangled vagina as you run to your screaming baby after daring to put her down and brush your teeth, you don’t feel like a miracle… you don’t look like the photo shoots..
“And then for some of us, the miracle happens and it’s in the form of help, usually by another women. Comes over to hold our baby, wash our dishes and let us sleep.”
Oh God, how true is that? With motherhood comes instant guilt, and you’re so new to this whole thing that sometimes it’s so hard to ask for help. We feel like we shouldn’t. We don’t want anyone to judge us, or to feel like we’re a bother. But honestly, the most beautiful gift you could give a new mom friend is the gift of another woman saying, “I understand. I know. I’m here.”
Feeling overwhelmed is just a part of motherhood, no matter how old your kids are. But our need to get out for a bit has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of love we feel.
“Just like when the kids are screaming, they won’t let you get ready, your frustration is brewing, you just can’t wait to get out of the house and away from them, then bam,” Hall writes. “The babysitter gets there and you are out for dinner, showing your girlfriends photos of the kids, telling, kissing your phone, messaging the babysitter for updates.”
This. Is. All. Of. Us. And you know why? Hall lays it all out there, and while there are plenty of reasons for each of us, she nails why we feel the way we do.
“Its not motherhood that’s the problem, it’s the relentlessness. Your children aren’t the problem, your lack of a village is.
“You see I read once that mothers suffer the most in the absence of a village. The worst part is that rather then questioning their community they are constantly questioning themselves.
“Don’t question yourself, this isn’t supposed to be this lonely, you are not the only one suffering, we all suffer due to our society’s set up. Grab your girlfriends, hold them close, make dinner together, wash each other’s dishes and love their babies like they are your own.”
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
After I had my daughter, the isolation (combined with one long, dreary winter) would consume me some days. Not a lot of my friends had kids, or even lived nearby. Looking back, I wish I had reached out to my own girlfriend village. I know they would have given me exactly what I needed, even if all they could offer was a phone call and some laughs.
But, like Hall writes, I questioned myself a lot in those early days. I still do. Society makes us feel like we, as mothers, have to have our collective shit together at all times or everything will fall apart. But sometimes, women just need other women to step in and stand with us.
Speaking of those great girlfriend laughs, she gives us all reason to at the end of her post:
“And my all time favourite memory of the first few weeks of motherhood was opening the door, leaky tit hanging out, flap of skin swooping under my top. And the sides of a maternity pad sticking out of my undies, to a friend, who took one look at my disgraceful state and we both pissed ourselves laughing.”