the thing moms need most

Mamas don’t ask for much.  And what we do ask for, we don’t often get.  Coveted things like sleep and hygiene and alone time are now viewed as luxuries to be savoured.  The best part is that people often remind us that we would be much better moms if we took time to ourselves and relaxed more.  Well hmmm, we never really thought of that…

I get it.  Life’s tough.  I have four kids ages five and under.  I feel you mama.  If anyone is pleading guilty for feeling completely unable to take breaks, it’s me.  Right or wrong, I really don’t think it’s possible for me at this season of my life.  But as I’ve been hanging out with other moms more frequently, something struck me.  There’s an essential need we have as moms that we are often not responding to at all.  And the crazy thing is that, if this need is met, we function so much better and, let’s face it, life is better for everyone when we function better.  I’m not talking about our need for help with the dishes or more beautiful home decor – though those things would be fantastic.  What I’m talking about is our need for time spent with other mamas. 

Of course there are tons of other helpful and necessary things that are needed in order to do well and stay healthy.  But it turns out that without spending time with other moms, we are more likely to feel isolated, overwhelmed, incapable. Now, I’m not talking about that mama that is constantly telling you about how you can improve your parenting approach or the one that says that her kid always uses his manners – it’s what he’s taught at home.  I’m talking about the mommies that have spit up on their shirts in the same spot you do.  The mommies that are able to share their failure stories with you so you can laugh or cry together about what life looks like right now.  The mommies that will encourage you instead of judge you. 

Your first response might be that you can’t find any moms who fit that description.  But, mama, try.  Search for them.  Find a Facebook group of mommies in your area and make some connections.  It might be awkward and scary to meet new people and make friends but it’s so necessary to have this lifeline.  There are certain things that our husbands, partners, and non-mommy friends will just never be able to understand or validate.  Sometimes we just need to say it isn’t fair and not feel like we’re offending anyone.  Sometimes, all we want to hear is that what we’re doing is really hard but that we’re rocking it.  Sometimes we need to see that we are not alone in our struggles as a mom.  It is essential. 

Now, assuming that you’ve located some mommies that you can hang out with, the hardest step is to actually meet up on a regular basis.  It might feel selfish but I assure you, it is not.  I am bold enough to say that in not doing this, you’re being selfish.  Because in not doing this, you are offering your family a version of you that could be more relaxed and validated and driven.  It’s seriously worth it mamas.  We all have each other’s back.  All you have to do is reach out and identify who it is that has yours. 

If you found this helpful, please share and comment below.  I would also love to know how you manage to squeeze in some quality time with other like-minded mamas.