I recently read an article discussing how American culture doesn’t support new Moms. There is less time for physical and emotional healing and few women are surrounded by loved ones who are focused on nurturing her back to health after the most demanding experience that is birth. This isn’t a new discovery to those mom’s who have made it through the first challenging months/years of motherhood, but to those who are newly entering the Newborn Mommy ranks, you don’t have to feel alone.
I remember the exact day that I decided to put my career on hold for Motherhood. It was July 4th, 2010, a cloudless, 100+ degree, sun-blazing day and I was performing at the Taste of Chicago…3 months pregnant! As I desperately tried to keep from barfing between songs, I came to the conclusion that this was the time to bow out of the spotlight for a few months…or as time would have it…a few years.
Friends and family had warned me that my life would be drastically changed, (no more late nights, date nights, mini-skirts and bid sayonara to freedom). Their valuable wisdom and experience was cloaked in pessimism, and instead of the fruitful advice I needed on how to navigate the inevitable changes in my body image, career aspirations and personal expectations, I was left thinking that I wanted to be the exception to the “kids ruin your life” rule…and not knowing how to do it.
As I struggled to reclaim a bit of my old self (post-pregnancy) amongst a sea of ill-fitting maternity and pre-pregnancy clothing, the questions from friends and family about how soon I would get back to singing were incessant, and in my current state, totally insensitive.
Each day I saw the ideal image I’d looked to for the perfect career woman, wife, and mom blurred by naptime, (non) reality TV shows, breastfeeding and diaper changes. I was too tired to go grocery shopping, cook dinner or even eat… and I felt guilty. I wasn’t interested in hanging out with child-free friends who belittled my choice to a stay-at-home with the question “What do you do all day?” I hated them for asking me, which made it even more painful to acknowledge that in addition to 24/7 babysitting, my day also included vegging out on chips and wishing I could escape into the lavish world of the Kardashians.
I felt alone.
Looking back at that Newborn Momma Mina my heart breaks a little bit. I wish I could have told her where to go to find a community of Newborn Momma’s just like her who seek to find their place in a world that doesn’t value the incredible journey and adjustment to Motherhood. I wish I could have told her about organizations like The Blossom Method, that aim to provide new moms with the counseling support needed to make the leap into motherhood to prevent the feelings of depression and isolation.
Now 3 years and 2 babies later, I’m in an emotionally better place now. This newborn Mom has grown and matured with time and experience… just like my babies. And as I watch the same friends (who’s eyes would glaze over at my triumphant stories of getting a newborn and toddler to the doctor’s office in a Chicago winter) start having kids, it’s satisfying to know that my experience can be an anecdote for what they are now feeling. But for those new Moms without the sympathetic ear of a friend, The Blossom Method offers counseling services and parent-to-parent support groups in which members can “form friendships by connecting in an empathic and safe environment. Finding friendship and laughter during a difficult time is the main goal.”
…And it’s a goal that I think can change the face of being a Newborn Mom.
The Blossom Method is a therapy practice offering support, community, comfort and hope to women and couples experiencing issues related to infertility, pregnancy loss, genetic complications, pelvic disorders, NICU preemies and postpartum depression The Blossom Method Contact Info: phone:312-854-0061 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.theblossommethod.com My participation in The Blossom Method’s You Never Know Campaign is voluntary and I am not being financially compensated for my opinion. While I have not utilized their services, I am a firm believer in the power of community for new moms.
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