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December's Monthly Intention

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Have you tried..... support?


Picture this ----- walking your baby down the sidewalk in her stroller and up walks a completely random stranger. Their gender/race/background completely irrelevant. They say "AWWWWWWWWWW I remember those days, be sure to cherish every moment." To which I then replied "even between 2:30am to 4:30am when she is screaming because of teeth?!?" and wait for it....here it comes.... ALL. THE. UNWARRANTED. ADVICE.



I mean come on. I get it babies are cute, they are cuddly, and they are tiny little demons. They puke and poop. They sleep super cute or not at all. They make a mess and have the cutest little giggle. They are crawling, drooling, blobs of contradictions and it's their own saving grace.

I am in the thick of it, trudging through baby mud. Sleepless nights, swollen boobs, a 5 year old who thinks he knows more than me. I'm exhausted, and most of all I am so sick of all the "have you tried this...." advice.

If someone came up to me at the grocery store, on the sidewalk, or at Starbucks and said "I remember it being really hard, just hang in there." I would probably drop to my knees and sob uncontrollably  (in a good way).

Why do I need to cherish the vomit? Why do I need to cherish the sleepless nights and the screaming as baby teeth shoot through gums? Why do I need to cherish the time my kid pooped and I had no diapers in the diaper bag? Why do I need to cherish breastfeeding in the car during soccer practice? Why do I need to cherish falling asleep in the rocker because she won't sleep? Why do I need to cherish the time I feel asleep feeding her and dropped her (she didn't fall far, thank god, don't judge here, seriously watch what you are thinking, do you remember or even know what it is even like to be completely and utterly exhausted)? It's like everyone forgets how hard it is to have a baby.

Listen I am SO THANKFUL I have a healthy baby, and was even able to have babies. But, I am allowed to get frustrated, sad, and angry when my tiny little blob of baby won't sleep or explodes all over her clothes. I am allowed to not cherish those moments. I am allowed to be mad at my 5 year old for being way overly helpful.

I don't want to forget how hard it is. I don't want to be that person that just gives advice, sometimes all moms need is a person to support us...with silence. In yoga we say "hold space". I just want someone to say "YES it is hard, hang in there." It doesn't seem like a lot, but it is so much better than all of the 500 other things. I want to tell Kollin and Charlotte when they have kids that it is hard, but they will be okay.

I mean with all seriousness if I say "yeah she is sick" and someone replies "but she's just so cute". How the hell is that supportive or helpful? I made her. I helped grow her big eyeballs and her curly brown hair, I put the diaper on her cute little dimply butt and it is highly likely I kissed it right before I put her diaper on. I know she's cute, but I'm freaking tired. Her being cute has nothing to do with her illness or sleep.

Why WHY is there is much pressure and judgement with motherhood? Why can't it be a supportive place? Why can't there be a better response than insinuating I am doing something wrong? Maybe I am, but maybe the first response shouldn't assume that.

I know I am a strong-willed (okay hard headed) person. And yes, it can be difficult for me to ask for help sometimes. Telling me what I am doing is wrong, when I don't even know you at all or actually you know me, is the most insulting thing ever. Saying "I'm just trying to help" is just a justification. To me it is the same thing as saying "Not to be racist but....", "Don't be offended but...." or "I'm not trying to tell you what to do but......" each of those things follows with a statement that is in fact racist, offensive or judgmental. If you aren't trying to give me advice then don't.

Breastfeeding is hard. Bottle feeding is hard. Being a working mom is hard. Being a stay at home mom is hard. Having a sick kid is hard. Having a healthy baby is hard. Being a single mom is hard. Being a married mom is hard. Motherhood is hard and it can be a very lonely place. Support is the best thing we can all offer each other, not advice.


2 comments

  1. Love this Erin!! Motherhood is such a roller coaster... complete and utter joy one day and overwhelming exhaustion/frustration the next! I am with you!! You will make it through! You are an incredible mama!

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