This picture is blurry for a reason.
I’m not trying to put this specific family on blast, but I am trying to shine a light on these little moments of motherhood that can add up to feeling isolated and resentful, and this one captures it perfectly.
While at lunch yesterday, I watched this mom entertain her baby with a balloon, with walking around, with touching the art on the wall, etc. (we’ve all been there) the entire time her family enjoyed their birthday celebration with food and drinks and lively conversation. No one stepped in to let HER enjoy being part of the group. This image, with the mom in pink on the left (with her baby touching a balloon) is an accurate visual of the constant, UNSEEN care-taking of motherhood many moms do that leave us out of the group. Either no one noticed the subtle work she was doing, or no one wanted to give up their enjoyment to let her have a taste of it too. I considered offering to hold her baby so she could rejoin her family for a bit, but I knew that was gonna be weird.
And people wonder why postpartum depression, rage, and resentment are a common part of modern motherhood. We don’t just need better diagnosis and doctors to help new moms – we need our families and friends to notice us, and to help bring us back to the table.
I vividly remember this stage and I remember writing in a journal that I never wanted to forget how isolating it felt at dinners and parties to be walking a baby around while everyone sips on wine and tickles the baby’s feet as I pass them instead of offering to help me eat without a human on me. I never wanted to forget it because I knew that “Gramnesia” would probably erase it from my brain. I wrote it down so I would remember to help my then grown-up kids and spouses in this department – especially the moms.
Please share this far and wide so that people in different phases of life and roles in families can see where these cracks form for us moms, and where they can easily step in and help us. Even if they can’t understand it because they haven’t lived it, this picture perfectly illustrates the divide that happens when no one steps in.
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