If there’s one message I might walk the streets hollering out at the top of my lungs, it would probably have something to do with reminding you that I’m okay, you’re okay, and that we’re gonna be okay. I’d probably be fervently reminding you that if you’ve just had a new baby, or even if it was kind of a while ago, those feelings you’re experiencing, and that voice in the back of your head that’s taunting you to throw in the towel – they will diminish and disappear. And while I can tell you with great certainty that hours or days or weeks later they’ll resurface, they’ll always just be hills or mountains that I know you can scale.
Because even though we’re all going through different things, as mothers, we’re also all walking down the same road. Whether a mother chooses to have an umedicated birth or an elective c-section, whether she endures episiotomy or vacuum or forceps, whether she births in a birth center or hospital or at home unassisted, whether she chooses to formula-feed or breastfeed exclusively, whether she opts for cloth diapers or disposables, or whether she chooses to stay home full-time or foster her career; we are all doing our absolute utmost to raise our babies and do exactly what’s right for them and for us, all the while bending backwards until our spines nearly snap in two.
Because no matter what path we're traveling, we’re all hanging on by a thread.
The weight we bear as mothers, as we hold up our children, our jobs, our partners and every other responsibility and relationship in our lives is nearly too great to bear on any day and over the course of every day.
Motherhood is hard; and nobody gets through those early days unscathed. Pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood are altogether rewarding, exhilarating, exhausting, trying, demanding, and beautiful. But if you’re new to this, if you’re on your knees, or if you’re barely scraping by, remember two things: you are not alone, and there exists an army of women behind you who support you and love you.
The things you’re feeling have been felt and endured by scores of women before you. I am one of them. Whether you’re experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety, or battling the overwhelmingly powerful effects of postpartum hormones, remember that this too shall pass. It gets better. It gets easier. Life has a way of priming us for greater challenges; and if you reach out, ask for help, and make yourself vulnerable, I promise you will feel the pull of that army lifting you up and out of that hole.
Sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones are a lethal combination – but they’re one that we’ve all experienced, and continue to. So again, I say: you are not alone. This will pass. And you are loved.