We’ve all seen it. A facebook post written by an overwhelmed mom. The baby won’t stop crying. The toddler won’t stop hitting. My kids don’t sleep. I feel like I am going crazy.
How many times have we seen those posts, rolled our eyes, and muttered, “that’s motherhood, deal with it” and clicked away? I will admit, I have. Or, maybe we don’t click away, but instead we attack and criticize. “Don’t you know how many women wish they were in your shoes?” “You should just be happy you have a healthy baby.” “At least your baby is at home with you.” “It’s because you do xyz differently than I do, you should change your parenting practices.”
And so, instead of offering solidarity, and support, and understanding, all we are doing is making her feel guilty.
I’m slowly learning that these facebook vents are often more than just a “vent session” – they are hiding underlying issues. Maybe that momma is suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety. Maybe her husband works long hours and she is stuck at home with her children without access to a car. Maybe there are financial stresses. Maybe one of the kids has a health issue she hasn’t been brave enough to share publicly. Maybe, maybe, maybe. We never know.
It’s no wonder that women are hiding their depression and anxiety in silence. Because when they do reach out, they are shut down, quickly. They are told to keep their issues to themselves, suck it up, and get on with life.
This needs to stop. We need to build each other up, instead of tearing each other down. We need to rally together and build community, rather than falling apart. We need to rush to that momma’s side with open arms and offer to take her children so she can have a break. We need to take her dinner or out for ice cream. We need to build solidarity together.
Let’s stop with the judgement, and start with the love.
All mommas are superheroes. All mommas are in need of encouragement. All mommas are in need of love.
So let’s rally around each other, offer love, and remember that chocolate is always appreciated.