As I emerged from the fog of Abby’s preemie days, I remember several things quite clearly. First, I felt very alone. Second, I had no idea what I was doing. Third, my tired brain no longer related to most humans in the same way. I mean, with 45-minute chunks of sleep between pumping, bottle feeding and breastfeeding my 4-pound infant, I watched more Netflix with my breast pump for company at 2 am than anyone should be allowed. I couldn’t coherently finish a sentence or even remember what I had been trying to communicate in the first place. Those were the soggy days. Tears. Milk. Baby pee. Drool.
I had postpartum depression and anxiety, and I didn’t know it.
I also desperately needed a tribe.
I see that haggard look in other mama’s eyes now, and my heart breaks. It’s a haunting look of a woman finding herself all over again. It’s a desperate look of a woman hoping to be appreciated underneath the several-day-old hairstyle and milk-stained yoga pants. It’s these days that call for a village. For the women who will gather at a moment’s notice, nurture your soul with comedy and understanding, and nourish your body with meals and coffee and an endless amount of snacks.
A glass of wine or sip of bourbon doesn’t hurt either.
This village, though, is not made in a day. And often, you must be vulnerable first with your blossoming motherhood before you find those women who climb down into into the trenches with you, clambering over mounds of laundry, to change your babies’ diapers and send you to shower alone when the crazy eyes send the signal that one more round of baby burping will push you over the edge.
Where do you find this village though? Where do you gather this tribe? Where do you go when you are the first in your family to breastfeed past 12 months and the first to try baby-led weaning? Who do you ask when you intended to never bottle feed, but that’s what you need to do for both you and baby? Where do you drink a cup of caffeinated coffee without judgement? And where do you splurge on that nursing bra that holds in stretched and tired boobs with a bit of elegance and charm?
If you are local here in Denver, then I would suggest you start at The Mama’hood. If you aren’t local, then there are online class options and online retail options for you too. Many of the offerings at The Mama’hood are community-friendly, donation-based, so you can splurge on that bra or cup of coffee as well. Clicking on their online presence, you are immediately greeted with the mantra: “Thriving mama, thriving babies, thriving world.” I can get behind that slogan.
So, I’m giddy about this weekend’s giveaway sponsored by The Mama’hood as we partner together to create safe spaces for the families in our world. They would like to bless one mama (or dad, grandparent, caregiver, or birth worker) with a $100 gift card to shop in-store, shop online or attend in-store or online classes. Who do you know who needs this resource? I know I for one am raising my very tired hands high!
To enter to win, make sure you are following this blog for five extra entries (click the follow button on the right hand side of this current blog post page OR click the follow button on the very bottom of the home page HERE) and then go follow both of our Instagram accounts @laurenhasz and @themamahood plus like and tag three friends on my Instagram GiveAway Post. Simple and easy. Make sure to tag mamas who you know would benefit from this support and would thrive from a bit of community TLC.
If you are not local, may I also suggest that you also find that community rec center class, that book club or that in-person space with other women to connect with in addition to your online community. There is power is holding one another up through these prenatal and motherhood years. If you don’t have any ideas on how or where to get connected, then please feel free to drop me a comment and I will help you research local options for you. Because that’s what mamas do for each other. We reach out when someone else is too tired to do it for themselves. Hugs, friend, and happy weekend!
Follow this blog and jump over to IG to Enter to Win HERE