Motherhood Doesn't have to be Lonely
The phrase "it takes a village" didn't originate out of thin air. From the very beginning parents caught on; raising children is much easier with other people helping. Whether it was inviting grandma over to watch the kids or the neighborhood parents keeping a collective eye on the children at the park, it was generally agreed that team work made the dream work.
Somewhere along the way however, someone left the team and convinced others to leave with them (ugh, that guy). Then slowly but surely, the idea that parenting was a lonesome solo job (primarily to be placed on the shoulders of mothers) came into practice. We've been led to believe that unless you gave birth then there was no need to help, and if you did give birth to that child, then that was your problem. You can't be tired, you can't be overwhelmed, and you certainly shouldn't expect help.
Women fell into the trap of feeling guilty for having a relative help with the children, feeling guilty for dropping their children off at a preschool even if they were a SAHM, or feeling guilty for asking for a nap. Even our emotional well being is viewed as something we should handle ourselves. If you vent too much, complain too much, or ask too many questions it's a sign that maybe you're not a good enough mother, perhaps you don't enjoy motherhood. It's best to just respond with a generic response to avoid unloading too much baggage on someone else.
Motherhood became a solo journey.
And this is a lie.
Parenting is hard and exhausting. There is nothing wrong with asking for and expecting help, or with passing off some of the responsibility here and there so you can catch a break. Letting someone else help you doesn't mean you're letting someone else raise your child or make you any less of a loving mother. When there are more trusted hands on deck, the quality of care gets better since mom isn't burning the candle from both ends.
Motherhood is an awesome experience that should unite women and bring us closer together. Motherhood is a wonderfully challenging journey that we can laugh, cry, celebrate and drink through together.
Don't be afraid to:
- Drop the kids off for a few hours
- Ask for advice from other moms
- Join a community (you can join mine!)
- Talk about your honest feelings about parenting
- Offer a helping hand to another mommy
- Take time to build solid connections
- Smile at other women
- Try new things and make friends. (Feeling shy? No worries, there is this amazing group of women on Facebook dedicated to helping women get out there called Women2Evny. It's much easier to try new things with friends. Click the button below to learn more about them.)
So go build up your team momma and rest assured, you're not alone and you're not supposed to be!