Something happened this week that I wasn’t sure I would write about. Things like this happen often behind the scenes with blogging, and over time my skin has become thicker and I’m reminded that the world isn’t always rainbows and lollipops.
I shared a post about Luella not sleeping and how I asked for help. How I’m getting help. When I say she’s not sleeping, it’s not that I’m just not getting a whole night of sleep. I mean I’m being woken every 1-2 hours, feeding her for 10-30 minutes and then trying to get her back to sleep. There will be mothers that sleep better than me, and others that sleep worse. I’m not asking for a pity party. I’m telling you how it is.
One person thought I was pathetic and told me so. They suggested that I shouldn’t ask for help, instead suck it up and deal with it. That I should learn to be a real mother. There were a few other choice words thrown in, but you get the gist.
Immediately I felt like shit. Shitter than I felt already. I am hopeless at asking for help. I went 6 years without sleeping properly with Lacey and I just dealt with it. I don’t need a badge, because there’s no reward for being the most sleep deprived. I wish I’d got help for us both back then. Last week I made three appointments to see my doctor and cancelled them, before I finally saw her about fixing the sleep problems. When I got in there, she told me how crap I looked. I told her how crap I felt.
But this isn’t really about sleep deprivation, this is about something else.
Why, as mothers, do some people have to bring others down? It’s a way to make themselves feel better? Is that why?
When I gave birth to Lacey I joined a huge community, a group of women all around the world that call themselves mothers. I know some beautiful women who would give anything to be in this ‘gang’.
We’re all doing the best we can, or most of us are trying to. There’s no one way to raise a child. There’s your way. I make mistakes every single day, and I often beat myself up over them too. I don’t expect everyone to agree with what I do, or how I do it. That’s OK. Raising a child is hard. It’s good hard, but hard all the same.
Motherhood isn’t a competition. It isn’t an excuse to break somebody’s spirit, or to bitch about them behind their back. It’s not a reason to give someone a hard time because you’re not feeling great about yourself or the way you parent.
I don’t care how you raise your child. I don’t care what you give them for dinner, or breakfast, or what you pack in their lunchbox. I don’t care if you give time out, or raise your voice more than you want to. I don’t care if you read 3 books at bedtime, or 1, or none.
I care about supporting each other. About giving someone a smile, and saying, “Hey, I’ve been there too” or asking “Oh, you look like you’re doing it tough there, can I help?”. I care about lifting people higher, not bringing them down. Or if you’ve got nothing nice or even constructive to say, then say nothing at all. I care about letting other mums know, “Hey Mama, you’re doing a good job.”
Because you are doing a good job. We are.
And if you’re having a not-so-great day, let’s pour the wine, crack open up the chocolate and know that tomorrow is a brand new day.
But most of all, let’s have each other’s backs.
photo credit: hownowdesign