Women today are far more support-less than our grandparents or maybe even our parents were. Thanks to urbanization and globalization, extended families often stretch across states (or even nations). It is now surprising (in a good way) to hear that the mother’s family or in-laws live in town (or even anywhere within a decent driving distance).
Thanks to social media, there’s also more of a competitive side to motherhood. Moms often post only their best days, their most appealing Pinterest wins, and their more glamorous pictures of motherhood. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap and feel more and more isolated, trapped, and alone in the midst of long growth days (you know the ones – when each minute seems to take just a bit longer than 60 seconds, when the kids can’t stop fighting, when hubby can’t get home fast enough because You’re. Just. Done.), Pinterest fail after Pinterest fail (you probably didn’t even take a picture of that one, did you?), and the messy grind of motherhood.
So where do you go? To whom do you turn? What happens when you’ve been up all night with the crying baby and now she’s finally asleep but now the 2-year-old is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6 AM (before the sun, in the winter!) and you haven’t showered in like 5 days (actually, it’s only been 3, but it feels like forever ago) and you’re wearing the clothes you slept in (you did that on purpose, actually, because when do you have a spare moment to change?) and you don’t even look in the mirror when you run to the bathroom real quick – and don’t even think about finding the brush (I think the 5-year-old had it?) to brush your hair – that’s why you got the haircut anyway, right? – just throw it up into a messy bun and no one will ever know? Who can come help you clean the house (because you can’t even keep one room clean) and make sure the kids don’t kill themselves or each other or eat all the snacks in the pantry so you can just take a 30 minute nap to get through the rest of the day? If your mom doesn’t live just down the road, how do you figure out how to feed yourself (because the kids eat – they make sure you know when they’re hungry) and exercise and get enough water and enough sleep and all the things that you need to even feel human, much less take care of your body like you are constantly reminded that you should? And if your mother-in-law isn’t there to help you give baby his first bath or your mom can’t come and show you how to hold your baby to get her to finally stop crying (it was gas all along, right?), how in the world do you figure it out and stay sane?
That’s where I come in.
I make my community better because I help moms discover who they are. I help them rock the mom life, figure out how to take care of themselves and their babies, and, like a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, turn into this creature of beauty and strength and power and femininity that they’ve had waiting inside them all this time. I connect them with their community, with resources, with knowledge. And when they find that they have wings and they can actually fly, I watch as the community grows stronger, as they offer their new-found gifts to others, and they raise a new generation of connectedness and support.
They say the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world. That hand has a body, and that’s what I take care of. And it is lovely to behold.