In our pregnancy circle, we often try to conceptualize what being “prepared” to have a baby means or looks like.
How can we know what kind of support we will need once we have a baby?
How can we prepare for the vast unknown of postpartum beforehand when everyone's experience is different?
How can we see the light of what we need when we’re in the middle of it and have no frame of reference for what we can expect?
How can we seek out help when newborn life already requires superhuman energy and a level of giving that is so above anyone’s normal (all while adjusting to enormous hormone shifts and recovering)?
It’s so hard to know what we’ll need beforehand and, as I’ve learned, even when we’re going through it. I am all for the deep reflection, but want to suggest that it’s really ok if you’re feeling like “oh crap I have no idea!” Or if you look back and think "argh I wish I had done that differently!"
Over 3 days last week I received 3 emails in a row that inspired me to write this post - on my day off. Because it's so taboo and absolutely essential to talk about our rage.
When a woman in our community sent me her member story I had to stop everything. First, because of her incredible story and deep honesty and also because of her question to the community. She writes:
"I'm so disappointed in myself. I'm discovering that I yell at my toddler frequently. Can I get some communication tips for talking to an almost 3 yo? My husband and I have also made a commitment not to hit the children. We don't have effective tools/tips that aren't hitting. We are struggling with how to properly discipline and offer punishment."
It struck me because yes, we need strategies and new ways of thinking about behavior and discipline, but we also need to be supported so we don't feel so disappointed in ourselves all the time. The pressure to always be calm and patient while at the same time being expected to do it all without any breaks can make motherhood feel impossible.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.