Community Over Competition
Yesterday was just one of those days where you laugh because you’re doing everything in your power to just get stuff done, but life has other things in mind. Just in the morning: I poured milk in my coffee mug and almost gave my toddler coffee in her soppy cup (I caught myself right before I was about to pour it); I had a confusing 5 minute conversation with my dentist thinking I had called the pediatrician; I somehow put my underwear on backwards and didn’t realize this for literally hours; and for some reason I thought it’d be a great idea to have my toddler help me crack the eggs for scrambled eggs and our entire kitchen was a disaster.
Fast forward to lunch time and I’m trying to eat a sandwich while breastfeeding my son and there goes a giant plop of mustard on his back. Grab a new onesie, get him dressed while chewing half a sandwich I hastily shoved in my mouth, and we’re all set. Naps surprisingly went well, and then we met up with a friend and her kids for a play date at the petting zoo, and had an absolute blast. My daughter decided to say hi to the man who owns the petting zoo, and my sleep deprived mind thought that was the perfect time to teach her about strangers, so I loudly and awkwardly shouted out “We don’t know him! Stranger danger!” at the top of my lungs. She was confused. I was confused. It was just a crazy day over all. Thank God I was able to unload with my friend and just talk all sorts of mommy and girl stuff.
I feel like we all REALLY need a Mom tribe to keep us going. I love being able to ask my friends if their kids have gone through something that one of mine is doing (sleep regressions, teething tips etc), I love being able to vent and get things off my chest, or maybe talk about a mommy moment that I feel guilty about (staying calm during a toddler tantrum should honestly deserve a standing ovation). And I don’t think a Mom tribe has to be JUST moms. I love talking to my friends who don’t have kids yet. They know me from before I had kids and they are amazing too.
I think one of the hardest things for moms (or dads too) is to feel like they are alone in this parenting thing. To think that they are the only ones going through something, or struggling, or having a parenting fail and that is not a fun feeling. It’s actually a depressing and terrifying feeling. It’s a feeling that I have learned to recognize and do something about, now that I’ve had my second baby. With my first, I would cry and fret and worry that I was messing up as a mother. That I had ruined her sleep forever because she kept waking up to breastfeed back to sleep for an entire year. I didn’t want to talk to many people about it because I was confused as to where I had messed up, embarrassed as so many other moms had told me that their babies were sleeping through the night, and terrified that she would never sleep all night. This girl now sleeps like an absolute champ. I SO wish that I could go back to Past Me and say “Open up! Talk to your friends! You WILL get through this. This won’t last forever. You’re not alone!”
I’ve said it before, but I just feel so strongly about this that I’ll say it again: build up your Mom tribe! Vent, ask questions, learn from your mom friends and other friends. Ask for help! I rely on my friends SO much sometimes when we are out in public. At my Mommy and Me class, I know that I can rely only my friends to hold my baby so I can comfort my toddler. I know that they will watch my toddler while I change my baby’s diaper. And I love helping other moms too! If one of my girlfriends calls me up asking to watch their kid? I’d do it in a heartbeat. If one of my kid’s friends is getting into it with another kid, you can get I’ll be right there breaking it up and making sure no one gets hurt. Someone asked me the other day about making more mom friends and my advice would be this: go to your local library and check out story time, go to your city hall and see about baby or toddler classes, see if your city has a Mommy and Me class. I also loving making new mom friends on social media! Facebook has so many awesome and helpful mommy groups, and I all really into the mom Instagram community (I’d love to connect with you! You can find me StressedAndBlessedMama). I hope those resources and suggestions are helpful, and as always: let’s build each other up. Let’s strive for community over competition. And as always, you’ve so got this Mama.