Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash
Do you feel alone as a mother? Are you desperately wanting to have more connection and support in your life, but not sure how to go about getting it?
It’s become the norm that so many moms feel isolated and lonely. This is especially true for new moms on maternity leave who are home alone a lot of the time with their baby.
Maybe your husband/partner is supportive. That’s wonderful! But is something still missing? A yearning for a community of women who really understand the beauty and the struggles of what it means to be a mother.
It used to be (and still is in some parts of the world) that women collaborated to raise children. They worked together on the daily tasks, supported each other through the challenges, and celebrated the good times together. Children benefited by having a community of support around them, and mothers were under so much less pressure to be EVERYTHING (mother, chef, counsellor, playmate) ALL THE TIME for their children.
Most women in today’s western world are lacking that sense of community and support. You might feel that deeply as a sense of loneliness and disconnection.
If you’re a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom, you may stay home with your kids A LOT. Maybe you go out to play groups or activities or park dates. That’s a great way to connect, but does it feel like enough for you? Are you able to talk about what’s really going on for you...without feeling like you need to put on a mask of having-it-all-together? Do you really feel a sense of community and inter-connection?
So what would it mean to create a more connected life for yourself, and build a supportive community?
Many, many moms feel like giving up their own needs (for community, connections, support) is par for the course of motherhood. It’s seen as normal to do it all alone. Independence is a high value in our society. But the truth is mothers simply CAN’T do it all alone. Which often means they end up struggling.
It’s seen as normal to struggle through motherhood.
Motherhood = Struggle
Yes, you may still acknowledge the beauty in it all: the love you have for our children, the joy you get from holding your babies and watching your kids grow and learn.
But for us as mothers the bottom line is that motherhood is often HARD (this is especially true if you’re a new mom). We work hard, we get by on little sleep and we’re often ignored, unappreciated, and even criticized for what we’re doing/not doing for our children.
In our society it’s honourable to martyr ourselves on the altar of motherhood.
Does that really benefit your kids that you struggle on your own? Will they place you on a pedestal as martyrs to their cause? Or will they remember (consciously or unconsciously) how you struggled for them and then in turn create the same pattern with their own children?
It’s important to carefully consider whether our way of parenting, our way of being is actually beneficial for our children.
May I suggest another way.
Get out of your house. Find other moms. Make connections. Share your struggles and your wins. Ask for help. Accept help. Allow yourself to support and be supported. Build community.
When you’re not alone, the everyday struggles seem lighter. They may not go away. But being supported through them, to feel like you’re not alone in them makes A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.
And guess what- your children will benefit too! This is not just about you (in case you still have that niggling voice about doing something selfish).
They will learn by having you model what it means to have authentic connection in your life. Everything you do, they are observing and taking in (consciously or subconsciously). And they benefit by having a greater community around to love and support them too.
Let’s all sit down and think about the world we really want to create for ourselves and our children.
It starts with us, mamas.
If you’d like to read more about this issue, with some beautiful suggestions on how to move forward, check out an article that I love by Beth Barry: In the Absence of the Village Mothers Struggle Most.
If you are interested in being part of a wonderful, supportive community of mothers led by two professional motherhood counsellors, join Connected Mamas Online Support Group. Find connection, community and tools for personal growth that will benefit you AND your children!
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