Dear isolated mom, I see you.
I see you nursing in the spare bedroom while your family eats a warm Thanksgiving dinner.
I see you having to miss a great church sermon because your child is having a tantrum.
I see you leave the movie theater to take your toddler potty for the 3rd time.
I see you at the restaurant with a squirming infant in your lap while trying to enjoy food and conversation.
I see you up at 2:30 AM cleaning and making bottles while the rest of the house sleeping.
Motherhood is incredibly isolating sometimes. Your unseen care-taking duties may come with social sacrifice.
Mama, I just want to let you know you’re doing a good job.
I know it feels like you’re left out and that sometimes (although you wouldn’t dare say it out loud) you’re tired and questioning if you can keep doing it by yourself. Moms carry a heavy burden that sometimes, we don’t even recognize we bear. We’re the glue that keeps it all together.
For the first 11 months of my daughter’s life, I was all she wanted. People offered to help hold, feed, and entertain her, but she screamed for me. I know your feelings too well, mama. I know it’s hard to feel like you’re doing it all. But know, you are her whole world. Someday there won’t be bottles to wash, or a baby to hold and comfort in the middle of family dinner.
I vividly remember this stage– how isolating it felt at dinners and parties to be walking a baby around while everyone sips on wine and tickles the baby’s feet as I passed by, instead of offering to help me eat without someone attached to me.
I know it’s hard to ask for help. And I know how frustrating it can be to take on the isolating duties of motherhood that are subtle that those on the outside don’t even see them. I know it’s draining to give up engaging conversation, warm food/coffee, sleep, etc. I know these feelings of isolation can quickly escalate to resentment, rage, and postpartum depression.
Try not to let it.
We need to help our family and friends see where these cracks form, and where they can easily step in and relieve us. Even if they can’t understand it because they haven’t lived it, these feelings of isolation perfectly set up the hurt that happens when no one steps in.
Mama, I just want to let you know I see you.
I will hold your infant while you eat. I will warm up your food when you return from nursing. I will rock that baby to sleep while you take a much needed nap. And I will do anything I can to bring you back to the table where you belong. You’re more than a mama. You’re a friend, sister, and a human being.
A mom who’s been there
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