Alright y'all as some of you may know, I’ve recently found the most wonderful local support system for my little girl which has allowed me to slowly start stepping back into work. This journey has been a rollercoaster of failed attempts at finding help but we’ve finally found trustworthy people to love and care for our little lightbeam just as we would. And I can say it feels really good to be stepping back into work, I actually have zero mom guilt around this too because my work fills me up so much, I know that it makes me a better person and allows me to also show up as my best self for my daughter. It’s really a win win all around.
If you aren’t familiar with me or it's your first time here, I’m a certified holistic health, wellness, and life coach on a mission to guide women to enhance their life, recognize their full potential, and embody their best self. And here's the thing, while I’ve been stepping back into working again after taking a 9 month maternity leave - totally not planned by the way, but that’s another conversation. I’ve really struggled with the word work. So I’m actually phrasing this new phase for me as more of a creative process rather than calling it work. Work just doesn’t match the vibe of what I’m doing because I really do love what I do and the ways I serve people, it fills me up in the most life-giving positive way. And really at this point in time, I am in full in creation mode as I’m bringing to life all the ideas that have been mulling around in my head these last 9 months offline. Which, I guess I’ll go ahead and talk about this -
I'm so excited to officially announce that I have my first launch coming up the week of June 27th. So mark your calendars as I’m getting back out there with a simple offering, I’m actually calling it a micro-course. Not a mini-course, but a micro-course. So stay tuned for the week of June 27th - lots of goodness coming your way especially if you are a postpartum mom, mom with an intense sweet tooth, someone who currently feels out of control in life or with their health, someone who feels their current work place is affecting their health, or just anyone looking to fine tune their lifestyle a bit. This micro-course is unlike anything I’ve brought to market before, and I’m so excited.
But, that’s not why I came on here today. I came on here to talk about what us mom’s need from our friends in times of transition. Whether you are transitioning into motherhood for the very first time, or transitioning from one child to multiple - the postpartum experience is one that should not be taken lightly.
And I know for me, now that I am a mom and I’ve experienced child birth, postpartum, having a baby, sleepless nights, fussy days, hormonal roller coasters, changes in the physical body, mental and emotional highs / lows - there is a lot that goes into this motherhood journey. And I didn’t get what my other mom friends had experienced until I was fully in it myself. I didn’t understand how lonely motherhood can feel, how purposeless it can feel, how emotional it can be, how scary thoughts and anxiousness can run your mind. Even the way being at home all day with a baby can feel super boring at times, and you find yourself questioning reality or counting down the hours til your partner returns home from work. - All very valid experiences from my point of view.
But, the main thing I found is how isolating it can feel.
And at first, with everything else going on in my postpartum world, I suddenly also felt so guilty as to how I had or hadn’t shown up for the moms in my life who became mothers before me. Once I knew the journey, I realized just how much I honestly didn’t support them in the ways they needed it.
I replayed certain phone conversations, thinking she must have hated listening to me and my quote on quote problems at that time period. Or wow I wasn’t even there for her, all I asked about was the baby, or how much she loved it. I never even knew she could be hating her reality and all I’m doing is asking her how great it is. I mean I replayed so many things in my head, until I told myself to stop. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t know what it was like to enter into motherhood at that time. And in fact, I could have never known what it would be like until I experienced it for myself, as there is something so major in the connection that comes between shared experiences.
However, what I did learn is that we moms don’t have to feel so alone. And if we can have a strong community around us, we can survive anything. Community is everything, it’s an innate part of us, however, in our modern world, I find that community around a new mother is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
So to everyone out there with new mom friends, here are a host of ways in which you can support support these moms during their transition. Because if you are anything like I was pre-motherhood, I had zero idea what the experience was actually like.
First and foremost just reach out to them. Don’t expect them to reach out to you, you are not on their mind. But what is on their mind is the way the phone goes silent after everyone gets the initial baby announcement photo. The ways in which they feel like their entire worlds have suddenly abandoned them. The ways in which it can feel like everyone was so supportive during their pregnancy and welcoming the baby into the world, suddenly then drops off the face of the plant a week later.
So when you reach out to your mom friends - ask them how they are really doing and don’t take “fine” or “good” for an answer. Ask them specific questions. Ask them how they feel about motherhood. Don’t just assume they are in love with it. Don’t ask about the baby, ask about the mother. Listen to them, hear them, even if you can’t understand where they are - just acknowledge their experience. Listen to them without judgment. Try not to give unsolicited advice unless they ask for it. Don’t share what other moms are doing as you risk throwing this delicate mama into the trap of comparison or not feeling good enough. Support your mom in the decisions she is making for herself and baby, even if they don’t align with how you’d do things.
Do not expect them to reach out to you to make plans. And don’t expect them to ask for help. This is your chance to step up and just show up to help, show up to hold their new baby for an hour so they can get a break. Show up with dinner or coffee for them. Don’t expect them to call you back or text back in a timely manner. Don’t ask them for support for your current problems, lean on your other friends for that. This mom is trying to care for her baby, herself, her household, her plants and animals, she doesn’t have space to care for you too right now. You have other friends who can support you while she’s unavailable.
Do not take anything personal right now. This is a time in your friendship where things aren’t about you right now. Your mom friend’s world just radically changed and it’s okay that you don’t yet understand it. In fact, you don’t need to understand it, you just need to be there for her.
Help your mom friend feel like the world isn’t moving on without her. Continue inviting her to movie nights, Zoom meetups, yoga classes, park dates, whatever you and your other friends are making plans for - invite your mom friend. Even though you know she already can’t go, that doesn’t matter. It’s the receiving of the invitation that brings life to her. And who knows, one day she might be available. So don’t also assume she’s never available. And to that point if she says no to seeing you, don’t take that personally either. It’s just where she is right now and it has nothing to do with you or your friendship. Honor her capacity and how she’s moving through the transition. She’s just doing her best.
Help your mom friend to feel loved and seen and heard. Help her to feel supported. Love her unconditionally and remember that this is just a phase, it’s not forever.
Just because your mom friend has always been the strong one, doesn’t mean she is strong right now. Just because you had an easy transition into motherhood, doesn’t mean she’s having the same experience. Just because she is in love with her new little baby, doesn’t mean that it’s not also the hardest thing she’s ever encountered. The journey into motherhood and dealing with postpartum looks different for every family.
So all I can say is just support your mom friends. Thinking about them is not enough, they need to know you still exist and care.
Once again, if you do anything with this information, just be there for your new mom friends. Don’t check in once, check in time and time and time again. Don’t ask if they need anything, just show up and do what feels best. Your actions of any kind might just be her saving grace.
Community can make or break motherhood. Support is vital for the new mother. Wrap your mom friends in community and love.