Have you ever had one of those days – where every little thing seems to go wrong – and no matter how hard you try to keep your cool – you end up in tears on the bathroom floor anyways, feeling defeated, deflated, and distraught?
You sit there and wonder, “Am I the only one…?”
Am I the only Mom who feels like they suck at being a Mom?
Something I have learned in the last 7 months of being a Mom is that I am NOT alone. I am not the only Mom with a baby who won’t sleep through the night. I am not the only Mom with a baby who punches, slaps, and scratches her when she is having a tantrum for no apparent reason. I am not the only Mom who lets her baby sleep in her bed. I am not the only Mom who puts her baby down when she is screaming, walks into the bathroom, turns on the fan, and screams into a towel.
Most importantly… I am not the only Mom who thinks she sucks at being a Mom.
No one ever told me when I was pregnant that I was going to need to find some friends going through the same thing once I had the baby. Everyone offered advice on which swaddle blankets to buy, which pacifiers worked best, and which swing their little one couldn’t live without. BUT NO ONE said I would need other Moms to help me get through the months following Annabelle’s birth.
Fortunately, my cousin and three close friends were pregnant at the same time as me. I always had someone to text/call when something with my pregnancy was baffling. However, I delivered first. That meant in the beginning – I found myself answering their questions and looking to veteran Moms for advice. Don’t get me wrong – the veteran Moms in my life are amazing – it’s just they weren’t going through the same thing as me at the same time. I need Moms who had just given birth.
Then one day I received a text message from a girl whose Aunt works with my MIL. She told me about a Mommy and Me group that met at the hospital where I delivered. I knew about the group, but was always too afraid to go alone. We set a date to go together, and I am forever grateful that I went. THE WOMEN AT THIS GROUP ARE INCREDIBLE. They have been there for me through the toughest of times with advice, a helping hand, or a shoulder to lean on. They have a private Facebook group, so even if I was up at 2am with a problem, someone would be able to help me by morning. This group – these women – will probably never know how much they helped me these past 7 months.
Two girls in particular have been here for me since we started group together. Annabelle is only one month older than their two sweeties, but it hasn’t made a difference. We have been through the ups and downs of new mommyhood together. I am so thankful to have had them in my life and cherish our friendships. Through my new transition into working Mom, they have both been by my side, as they are making/have made the transition too.
I truly believe that it is important to have girl friends – both new and old – to help you get through new stages of life. Whether your friends are real (where you see them in person) or met through social media, they’ll always be there with advice, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. My Mommy friends have taught me that I am NOT alone. They taught me that I don’t suck at being a Mom as long as I love and protect my daughter. They’ve taught me that it’s okay to not know what I am doing – it’s okay to ask questions – and it’s okay to end up in tears on the bathroom floor. That is… as long as you pick yourself back up again and keep moving. Our babies need us.
Caitlin Houston is a Connecticut based life and style blogger.