I remember when our eldest was a baby - I was young, unprepared, and felt exasperated most of the time. To describe me as a 'nervous new Mom' would be huge understatement. I mean, I would leap out of bed like a shot when our son but whimpered. I would cry uncontrollably, head in hands, outside his bedroom door when he screamed in his crib, even after two hours of cuddling and rocking him to sleep. I had a pile of parenting books stacked high and my child was only 6 months old. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing as a parent and lacked the confidence to mingle at "Mommy and Me" groups where I was told I could 'make other Mom friends'. Then our second baby came, then the third. Boom, boom, boom. My quiver was more than full and I was impossibly overwhelmed with three babies under the age of three. I remember the days I would sit with my arms around my children, one nursing, one crying, and one screaming – and me, weeping. Weeping because I didn't know how to handle the meltdowns, the never-ending needs, the tears falling, the arguments mounting. During the day, when I was at home, I felt so incredibly alone, and I. turned. to. no. one.
Our first is now six and things, though still hectic, are much easier. Many Moms I talk to these days share the same experiences that I have been through. None of us are perfect, and we all go through such similar struggles. When I found out I wasn't the only Mom of babies and toddlers crying on the kitchen floor, a huge weight flew off my shoulders. Too bad I didn't really talk about my experiences until they were long over.
What held me back? Fear of finding out I was the only one who couldn't 'cope' the way I should be able to. Newsflash - none of us cope the way we thought we would when it comes to being parents. We have become solely responsible for tiny, beautiful, human beings who require we do everything to nurture their spirit, mind, heart, and body.
But, smile. You are not alone. And the most overwhelming emotion in parenting can and should be joy. The moment you realize you aren't alone, a world of hope blooms bright.
I would lovingly urge those of you in the heat of those 'baby days' to reach out to other women who will wrap their arms around you and really, truly encourage you. Moms who are in the middle of it right now can profoundly empathize, but so can the Moms who have been there. Godly, loving, grace-filled women who will build you up and speak powerful words of strength to your soul - are essential for thriving. The reality is, we need each other, and we don't reach out to one another nearly enough.
Moms who have 'been there', let us agree to reach out to Moms who are weighed down with sleepless nights, and the endless needs of babies and toddlers. To help them in emotional, spiritual, and physical ways. Bring a meal, play with a toddler so they can rest, offer a hug and an encouraging word, PRAY for them.
Let us commit to ensuring that the Moms we know would not feel isolated and alone but instead, be filled with peace through the joy-giving and life-breathing encouragement that each and every one of us has the ability to extend. Blessings, Cassandra
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