Shortly after our red and wrinkly little newborn took her first breath, my husband and I were escorted to our car by a cheery hospital volunteer who, after dispensing best wishes for a bright future and a handful of coupons for disposable diapers, sent us on our way. For the next days and weeks, our sole objective was to keep the little innocent alive despite the fact that we had received no formal training to ensure that we were up to the task.
That was the way it worked 30 years ago and, from what I gather, it still pretty much works the same way (except in the case of home births where there is no intermission at all between birth and the assumption of full responsibility for new life).
The years succeeding infancy are no easier. Just when we thought we had it all figured out, our daughter would move into a new developmental stage that required a whole new set of interventions. We were confident that parenting our second child would be easier, but…we were wrong. Apparently, every child is different and requires the cultivation of unique parenting strategies. Who knew?
Being a new mom was, and still is, hard and scary and much easier to navigate when you are surrounded by a team of women who are in the same wild and unpredictable mommy boat as you.
Moms need to spend time with other moms. We need to know that we’re not alone, that we’re not the only one who makes mistakes and has imperfect kids. We need someone to make us laugh after a crazy-making day that involves indelible ink on the new sofa and a visit to the emergency room to dislodge a pebble from our son’s left nostril (Yes, this really happened – a story for another day).
You say you have no such team? You’re flying blind? Working without a net? Sporting the mommy badge without the “frennie” survival kit?
Please read Melanie Dale’s new book Women are Scary – The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends. Melanie wrote a whole book just for you. She can help you find and make friends with other moms; deep friendships, real friendships.
Here… watch a video about her new book.
One word of caution… if you are looking for a book that has been meticulously edited to eliminate any hint of potty talk, this may not be the book for you.
If you are up for straight talk about being a mommy with real kids and real issues, then pick up this book and read it cover to cover. You’ll see yourself in almost every page.
Then, let’s come back here and talk about it.