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Challenge: Moms Helping Moms

Mamas, with or without a mom tribe, we're all in this together

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I don’t have the typical “mom tribe” in my life, the kind that we see on television or movies like Bad Moms or on Instagram, the kind of tribe that if I had one, I’d probably want to celebrate Galentine’s Day with, nursing an Iced Mojo at the Pink Bean while taking up one of their tables for hours.

And that's okay.

Yeah, sometimes momming gets lonely, especially seeing as I am the lone female in a home full of boys. But while it feels lonely at times, I know that I am never truly alone.

Mamas, angels walk among us, touching us with their light and kindness, traveling with us through our suffering as they lead us toward healing. These earth angels give freely, through their words, their comfort, their brave vulnerability. And then one day we realize, they gave us wings so we can give too.

I have a beautiful constellation of women from all parts and times of my life that have left their mark of light and kindness on me in all different ways. These women, in their own way, have eased the pain that bloomed through the cracks of my soul, guiding me on the journey toward turning sorrow into strength, teaching me that I am never truly alone.

They’ve done this through sharing their own pain, offering me their heartaches in the service of soothing mine. The women who have shown up in my life, probably placed there by the universe just for this very reason, talked about their experiences with infertility when I was struggling with how long it was taking for me to get pregnant, how betrayed I felt by my body, how ashamed I was when I had to tell my husband month after month that I had gotten my period. They told me about their own miscarriages as I wept over the loss of my second pregnancy. Nurses held my hand and validated my grief as I was being prepped for a D&C because my body wasn’t letting go and they listened as I shared that I was having graphic nightmares about the miscarriage.

One nurse, as I was waking up, told me to rest, that I had been through enough, giving me the gift of compassion and understanding when I was trying to force myself into thinking it shouldn’t feel like a big deal.

Other women in my life have helped me be brave as I’ve stepped into my own power. My primary care physician, in validating that my birth experience with Daniel was traumatic and prescribing me medication, brought relief and reminded me of what I tell so many mothers – that how I was feeling was not a reflection of who I am, but that my feelings were a reflection of where I was at on my journey.

My therapist pushed me to live a life that was more and more unfiltered, teaching me that I didn’t need to hold everything in, that self-acceptance and self-love would create the strength within myself to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings that come with speaking your truth.

And the other mothers I sit with on Wednesday and Thursday night in the waiting room while Connor does PT and OT understand part of this truth, giving me space to talk about things like toe walking and IEP’s while nodding conspiratorially when I share the hour in the waiting room can feel like a break at times. They make me feel like my truth and I are part of a bigger community that knows exactly what I am going through with my little boy.

The women I work with and the women I used to work with, along with my own family, have taught me about being a mother, about how to mother, how to nurture and care for my sons, from how to cut their nails as infants to how to give them the love they need. They did this simply through showing me love and connection. They gave to me what I give to my sons and what I hope my sons will give the world.

And now it’s my turn to offer these gifts to the women of my world through love, connection, understanding and compassion. It’s my turn to act as the angel instead of the beneficiary as it is through giving to each other that the Universe binds us all as mothers. Last week, when talking to one of the teachers at my school, our conversation shifted from talking about a student to talking about her current experience of being a mother of two young children and how hard it can be, how hard the splitting your time, attention and love can be. I listened, gave her space to cry and then gave her a big hug, just like I would one of my boys. I left the mark of light and kindness on her and the hopes that when she is ready, she’ll turn into the angel for someone else.

Dear mamas, we are all in this together, whether we are close friends or are just sitting next to each other in a waiting room. As one of my angels wisely said to me, mamas need to stick together.

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