Hello mother and friend,
I am watching you and see you are struggling. The look in your eyes not only longs for answers but also sleep. I may know how you feel but you also have a very unique story. You’re longing for answers, confirmation that what you’re doing is right, to have confidence that what you’re doing is right. You don’t take care of yourself. You feel guilty. I know and understand, as I did it myself. Heck, some days I still do it. You’re sitting with your child on your lap, unshowered but doable with a pits and bits wipe down with a baby wipe. You make the internal statement that you wish you had the energy or desire to put on makeup and look as if you gave somewhat of a fuck. But you just don’t. Or you would.
I see you sitting in the corner. Like Baby from Dirty Dancing, I can see your insecure expression, tightened lips, and fear of where you are at in life. In the movie, Johnny’s hand stretches out across the table and passes Baby’s parents without even glancing at them. There wasn’t even a question if Baby would grab it because she yearned for it. Even if her father disowned her. My friend, no one is here to save you, but I am here to be by your side and be your friend. You see, I’m looking in a mirror and am starting to remember things that I’ve gone through. I’ve forgotten how hard it can be and what my life was like. How I hid it from the ones that love and care about me. The ones that wanted to help.
Many may come by after the baby is born, reach out to see how you’re doing, or even bring a meal or help pick up your house. But then the visits will stop. The reach outs and “need anything?” texts will be fewer. You’re not reaching out either, you don’t want to bother anyone or make anyone notice that you don’t “got this”. With as much help as your mom has been, you even feel you’re asking too much from her. You don’t want to be told what to do or how it was done back in the day. You want to figure it out on your own. Where are those mommy instincts they talk about anyways?
You have your baby in the stroller and she’s all cuddled in with a beautiful rose blanket with a satin trim. The special bow that her aunt gave her at the baby shower is around her tiny soft head. Her eyes are closed peacefully as a shade from the stroller is blanketing her from the sun. It’s easy to look at this scene as an outsider and smile for you. New mothers and new babies can stop a conversation and any train of thought. Even with the soft filter and calmness that comes from you, I know this is one of the shortest periods of your day. I hope you’re enjoying it because when you walk in that door of your house, you’re back. It’s not a happy “Honey I’m home!” feeling where you are excited and feel welcomed. Most of the time you dread coming home and going right back to where you were 30 minutes ago. The place you were escaping when you left for your walk.
You don’t know what else to do with her right now. Sitting in your home seems to be the safest and easiest option. It’s winter, it’s cold, gathering the items for the diaper bag, wondering if she’ll need to be fed (AGAIN) and if you’ll get any glares for nursing her, what if she cries, what if she has a diaper blow out, what if you run into someone (remember, you haven’t showered nor have any makeup on), you really don’t feel like talking to anyone, and next thing you know the excuses build up and you just toss in the towel and say “F it!” and sit back down on the couch with her. She’s nursing round the clock anyways so perhaps this is just temporary and you should be staying at home.
Daytime television hasn’t been a part of your life in years. OK, so let’s see what’s on. There are still soap operas on television? The news, nah. There’s always HGTV. Eh, not in the mood to watch entire homes get renovated in less than 6 weeks. You feel inadequate as it is. Oooh, “Golden Girls” has a marathon on Hallmark Channel. Now THAT’S quality television. I’m right there with you and binge watched “Golden Girls” as I sang the theme song as a lullaby to my daughter when she would cry. Because I didn’t know any lullabies other than “Rock a buy baby”. Which is such a morbid song anyways. So why not sing about being a good friend instead?
I see you, I can relate to you, and I want to help you. Actually I want to give you a great big hug and tell you that 5 ½ years from now it will be different. Time will fly in a blink of an eye where you will find yourself sitting and watching a mother in a corner who looks as lost as you feel right now. Remember your feelings and how you can be a true mother and friend. I hope that you can feel like me right now, where you want to throw a party and invite every mom you know. And I hope every gift you see would have a card attached saying “Thank you for being real. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for being a friend.”
Can you tell how much I love the Golden Girls? I think those ladies saved my sanity.