I am often saddened that so many women are embarrassed or scared to share their stories of feeling alone, sad, or just plain scared shitless about their lives as a mother.
Before I gave birth to my daughter Mina, my friend called and said “if you feel like you want to cry and are sad, you need to know that it’s normal.” At that time, I thought to myself “how depressing is that?” She continued on to say that there were days she just walked out of her house and cried. And that in the first few weeks at home, when her baby cried, she would cry.
Hearing all of this before I gave birth, I kept thinking to myself “wow, this won’t be me.”
Fast forward to postpartum, and I was an emotional rollercoaster. The same friend called me the following week asking “do you feel sad or depressed?” I did not admit to these feelings, but she then shared more with me about her own experience. I finally understood why she was scared to talk to me about it more before my baby was born. She knew that until I had experienced motherhood on my own, it would be hard to truly understand any of it at all. As I held my newborn, I finally understood.
Another girlfriend shared with me that she wished she had prepared more for the “hard stuff” of being a new mom. She looked at newborn era with rose colored glasses when she was pregnant. She had a tough colicky baby and had a really hard time because he cried all the time for weeks. She had no family locally and few friends in the area. She felt isolated. When I was pregnant, her advice to me was to prep for the hard months; literally like you are going to war: no sleep, no time to yourself, and your body is out of whack.
Knowing ahead of time that being a new mom was not a walk in the park, my experience was actually far easier than I had expected. This honest advice really encouraged me and got me through those tough months.