This one is for the lonely mamas, no matter what stage you find yourself in. The newborn stage of cluster feedings and feeling trapped close to home? The toddler years that aren’t called the “terrible twos” and “threenager” years for nothing? Or the school-aged taxi service where more time is spent behind the wheel then in your home?
This is a reminder…this too shall pass. This is only a season and although it feels long and tiring, it is only a snapshot of our lives and the lives of our children. We will look back one day and wonder – wonder where all of it has gone and how it all happened so fast.
Just 3 years ago I was lonely and impossibly depressed. I was battling the newborn stage but it was doubled with colic, unknown food allergies, and very little sleep. Support was limited and being a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer’s) wife there are long stretches when you literally are all alone and can claim single motherhood status. We lived in a community where I knew no one – all of my friends and family were 45+ minutes away and when you have a colicky baby that might as well be an ocean.
I was desperate for community, for fellowship, and for camaraderie. Instead I found myself alone and in a darkness that felt like it would never end.
Motherhood has a way of revealing the strength in us that we never knew existed. Looking back I am not sure how I survived the first 18 months of my son's life and to be honest I wanted to run, to hide, and to give up. I felt like a failure as a mother, a wife, and a woman. Nothing seemed to help my son and our marriage was in shambles.
But what I have learned is that as mamas, we just keep going. All we need to do is focus on the next right thing. Follow your heart, follow your instinct, and take care of you and your babies.
For me those steps were admitting I needed help, the diagnosis of postpartum depression and anxiety, therapy, medication, searching hard and creating community, finding a church that filled MY soul – not just one my husband liked, and doing it all even when I was gripped by fear.
Bravery is not defined by the absence of fear, but rather by being afraid and doing it anyway.
And that is what motherhood is – every single day. That is what life is – that is how we heal, how we find freedom, and how we find true community.
So ask for help.
Share your story.
Reach out to a neighborhood mom.
Go to therapy.
Find a faith community.
Go to a mom’s group.
Leave the house.
Do whatever it takes mama. Build your tribe, find your truth and refuse to let fear hold you back. You are not alone. We are here and we are waiting to embrace you.