Being a mom can feel very lonely. You always have someone around you but unless you know and hangout with other moms you are living in this isolated world of drool, bottles and endless videos of attempts at crawling. Family members are excited to see pictures and video but it is hard to get any time to yourself. Even when you do get time away you miss them and look at pictures and videos, which start the cycle of “I’m a bad mom because I’m here instead of home.”
If you do have mom friends, you carry the feeling of “I hope I’m not bothering them with my small problem because they also have the same problems.” So really you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The baby just smiled and said “dada,” you want to send the video to your friend but you remember they are struggling to get baby number 3 to sleep. You think ‘I don’t want to bother them in case they did get to sleep,” but now it’s just you staring at the video wishing you could send it to someone.
Here’s the secret that moms need to know… send the dang video. If they did get to sleep then they will see it later. If you have a friend that is upset that you sent a picture of the baby smiling or reached out to them because you are having a hard day then they probably aren’t that great of a friend. I’m so bad about not wanting to bother people so I don’t message them but these are my friends… not strangers, I shouldn’t feel like I’m bothering someone by sending a smiling baby picture.
There is so much guilt that I feel washes over you after you have the baby and a majority of it is from the outside. If you didn’t breastfeed you’re terrible, well my baby is allergic so I shouldn’t feel bad (plus it hurt like heck) but no one that matters or is educated is going to tell you that you are awful because you didn’t breastfeed. There are people who are completely against sleep training. We started sleep training at around 3 weeks and we consider it a bad night if she gets up before 6am. She’s a good sleeper and I attribute part of that to early sleep training. All of the decisions we make are defining a little person so there will be judgmental opinions. The good thing is there is no such thing as a perfect person.
No one is perfect and we are all doing our best and giving all the love we can. We should encourage each other through this really difficult and wonderful part of our lives. Instead of being lonely, we should feel fellowship with other parents. I know a ton of hard-working badass women who work and raise kids, I know equally badass women who don’t work and raise kids. It’s time we stopped letting the annoying outside voices make us feel alone and isolated.