As I’ve said before, everyone needs a little support once in a while and I found the best circle of moms to turn to. No, I didn’t just happen to have friends who all had babies around the same time together. I did, however, have one co-worker/friend who gave birth 2 months after I did. She had to get back to work much sooner than I chose to so that makes things a little awkward between us. What I did end up doing was reaching out in the mom community. To use a term my friend coined, I needed to create a “mom-mune”. You know, a commune of moms to turn to. In the first month, I hit some bumps in the road. I was on an emotional roller coaster, a touch of postpartum depression mixed with SAD, in the frigid month of January. Motherhood was not a magical switch that turns on after you hold and nurse your baby for the first time as I had hoped. Everyone was always asking how I was doing and saying how amazing it must be to be at home with our baby. I would say it was great but really I felt, well, a bit scared. I was only going to have help from my mom for a little while and my husband was going back to work in a week. Anytime someone close to me said something nice or asked how I was I would cry. My first line of support my first week alone was my chiropractor and friend, Emily. She is a mother of 3 and heard in my voice that I needed some help; mother’s intuition. She, without hesitation, told me we are going out to lunch tomorrow. That was it, she was the one who got us out of the house. After that, I realized I cannot stay home feeling so isolated and expect to get better.I searched for and found my local La Leche League group. I arrived at the meeting late even after trying so very hard to get out the door early enough. I walked in wearing my darling daughter, clumsily carrying a diaper bag, and water bottle then just melted into a puddle of tears when I tried to introduce myself to the group. I had been struggling with night feedings. It was a combination of having a difficult latch on the left side and a lack of sleep. Everyone looked at me and I felt so much compassion and understanding from everyone there. Evidently, I am not the only mom who’s ever had some difficulty adjusting to this new role. The LLL leader Donna Bruschi is also a board-certified lactation consultant. She took some extra time to work with me after the meeting to help me figure out some good night nursing positions and even let me stay for a much-needed nap.
I also have to say Facebook has been a great way to connect for me. I was chatting with a lady in a local shop who was admiring my baby girl. -Something I’ve realized, babies are great conversation starters. You can’t be shy for long if you go out in public with your baby.- This lady was telling me about how her daughter is always looking for new mom friends and we exchanged information. Two days later on a beautiful spring morning, I got a phone call from this mom saying she and some other friends were meeting up for a playdate at the park and I should join them. After meeting everyone, there were a few ladies that I connected with. We wanted to stay connected so we found each other on Facebook. They also told me about a social mom’s group on Facebook as well as a nursing mother’s support group right at our local hospital. Since that day I believe in the importance of surrounding yourself with other wise women for fun, support, and friendship. We still organize outings together and we share so much information and really help each other. I know that if I really needed someone just to come over, I have a commune of moms.