All My Reasons Why - An Introduction
Being a mum is fucking hard.
We are surrounded by heaping piles of judgement daily. On top of the mounds of judgement that others offer us, there is the peak of guilt that we often put on ourselves. There are the relationships we still feel like we need to maintain with friends, family, and our partners, while our relationship with ourself deteriorates. We are at risk of Perinatal Mood Disorders that carry stigma and more judgement and a medical system that doesn't often intervene. We are constantly making decisions that we think are best for this little life that we are in charge of and there is ALWAYS an opposing opinion saying otherwise. Hospital birth or home birth? Medicated birth or unmedicated birth? Breastfed or formula fed or both? Use a pacifier or don't use a pacifier? Disposable diapers or cloth? Is it okay if I go back to work early? What if I don't want to go back to work at all? Should we co-sleep? Is it safe? The list is truly endless... and the worst part is, more often than not, we face all of these things alone or while carrying feelings of loneliness.
My name is Jess. I am a mum to one incredible babe named Neera who is nearly 10 months old. In my first months as a mum, I spent a lot of time trying to seek a space that would make me feel less alone. At first, I did this online. I spent a lot of time seeking advice, answers to questions, information and experiences from other mums. I wanted to find a space that made my feelings of bewilderment, anxiety, and excitement feel acknowledged. I wanted to find a space filled with experience that I could identify with. I read a ton of articles. While a lot of what I found was helpful and somewhat reassuring, I never really found something that felt like home. I wanted to read something honest and raw and that didn't leave out any of the gritty details.
My first connection with Mothers Empowering Mothers was through their monthly Support Group after my online search had ceased to a halt. I wasn't finding what I was looking for online and decided to try some options within the community. My friend recommended MEM to me and I attended in hopes of finding a space that I could listen and relate to other mums' experiences, gritty details included, and I was happy when I found it there; uncensored, real life experiences of women who just needed to vent and wanted support.
With a history of mental illness prior to becoming a mum, and battles with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, I have found that listening and sharing stories is a beautiful way to release and let go of what we (sometimes) can't control. With so much stigma and judgement around both being a mum and mental illness, I feel passionately that the more we share our stories, the more we will normalize them. The more we normalize them, the more mums will feel comfortable enough to reach out for support that they so rightfully need and deserve.
Now as a blogger for MEM, it is my goal to create that raw, honest, gritty-details-included space online for other mums. It is my hope that through sharing our stories and thoughts on motherhood in an uncensored way, that it will in the very least, be a reminder that we are not alone on this journey. We are stronger when we stand together. I hope in your reading, you feel validated, reassured, empowered, understood, and loved, maybe even laugh a little, and that perhaps some of your burning questions are answered; a little bit of anxiety eased.
Please know that this blog is meant to be a collective. I want this to be a space for all mums to feel empowered and be heard. If you have an experience, story, or thoughts on motherhood that you would like to share (always the option to remain anonymous) please feel free to contact me through MEM or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.