The first couple of months postpartum were not easy for me. Actually, they were pretty rough. I was a typical first time mom who had no idea what she was doing. I thought I was prepared because I had read. & read, & read…. & read some more. But
some most of things you experience as a new mom, a book can’t teach you. A book can’t describe the roller coaster of emotions you’re going to experience. Or tell you how to handle feeling like your in labor all over again as your uterus shrinks. It can’t prepare you for how insane you’ll feel or how frustrating it is not being able to explain why you’re even upset. & it most certainly can’t tell you how to deal with the seemingly overwhelming abyss that is your life as a new mom.
Now, I’m not saying a mom friend can always prepare you for all of these things either. But at least they can relate.
I remember desperately reaching out, hoping someone could help me understand what I was going through. Hoping someone had similar experiences & could share their coping skills. I so badly needed someone to share their own struggles & remind me that I’m not in this FTM thing alone. That it will get easier, regardless of how impossible that may seem at the time.
Being a mom is hard. You’ve lost your old body, you’ve lost all sense of what was once considered “normal” & if you’re not careful, you’ll lose yourself. Sometimes, having a friend who can relate, could be the one thing that helps you keep it together.
I am determined to be the mom friend that I needed.
The friend that doesn’t ask what they can do to help (knowing you’ll just say “nothing”), but just tackles the dishes during her visit. The friend that just listens when you need to vent & shares her experience when you can’t find the words. And the friend that understands all of the unspoken experiences you’re not yet ready to open up about yet.
Will all of our experiences be the same? No.
But you know what? Sometimes when you feel like you’re failing, hearing your mom friend tell you about a time she struggled with something that you’re having more success with will give you the confidence boost you need. It will remind you that motherhood is hard for every one, in one way or another.
So, if you have a friend who has recently entered motherhood, be there for her. Not in just a, “hey, I’m so happy for you, let’s do lunch!” kind of way. But in the way you needed those first few postpartum months. In the, “hey, this worked wonders for me when he was a newborn, so I got you one too!” way. Be the mom friend that will inspire her to do the same in the future.
Side note: if you’re reading this & struggling with postpartum blues, depression, or anxiety (or know someone who is), you’re not alone. Postpartum Support International: 800.944.4773