Being a parent is a challenge: for everyone. I truly believe that this is a universal truth. The only difference is that some parents are willing to talk about it and others are not.
This is not to say that being a parent is not also a wonderful and often joyful experience; but it is definitely paired with moments where you think…
- Why is this so hard?
- This is not at all what I expected.
- I feel lost. I have no idea what I am doing.
My belief is that, as women, it is essential that we speak with openness and honesty with one another: to share in open dialogue, ask questions, and build a support network. It surprises and comforts me how often my friends understand what I am talking about when I mention a challenge that I am currently struggling with.
All of us face different and unique challenges. One of my best friends experienced severe depression and anxiety eight weeks after the birth of her first child. She continues to battle with it eight months later. Another friend of mine felt isolated at home on her maternity leave and could not wait to return to work. A mother at our daycare is currently struggling with her three-year old’s emotional volatility and unwillingness to sleep.
The common thread connecting all of these experiences is that it is nothing new under the sun. There is no shame in sometimes feeling lost and confused. Parenting is a challenging job that pushes your limits. Reach out. Ask for help. Share your stories with other mothers. The biggest gift that we can give one another is honesty, openness, and a willingness to share.
What do you think?