I want to share a combined lesson I learned at a young age: everyone's struggle is real and there is enough empathy in the world to go around.
When I was a teenager, my father was dying of cancer, and my amazing & wonderful friends were concerned about me, so every time they had a challenge in their own lives, they'd qualify it with something like "you're going through so much, I cannot believe I am talking about something so silly." My response was always "what you're going through is so important. Please tell me (and please distract me a bit!)" I knew firsthand that teenage woes felt extra big, because I was a teenager too! One person's challenges did not take away from another's. There was space and empathy for everyone's struggles.
Fast forward to new motherhood and I have a Public Service Announcement to our community: we can share our struggles as new parents and we do not have to always find the silver lining. Sometimes it is just hard. Whether it's a birth that didn't go the way we thought it would, a feeding issue, a massive identity and hormonal shift, a baby who isn't sleeping or a challenging toddler, I want every person to know that what you are going through is so important. As Brené Brown says in her podcast on comparative suffering, "Love is the last thing we need to ration right now." There is room for all of us to be seen, heard and receive empathy.
Thank you, as always, for showing up for and supporting one another through this crazy thing called motherhood.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.