Hi new mom. Old mom here. Yep. I’m a mom currently raising one teen and one pre-teen. It’s a whole new world where I’m at, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the new world you are in. And if you’ll let me, I’d like to give you some advice.

You see, we are living in a world where everyone seems offended by everything. It’s not healthy. Allowing ourselves to be offended and made to feel victimized is truly a choice. And while I realize my view may not always be the popular view, my view is why I am content and happy in life now. So just in case my view may help you, I’m willing to take on some criticism.

The truth is, not all isolation and victimization in life is intentional. Some is, don’t get me wrong. But let’s take you for example: 

You just gave birth to a human. Your sole purpose for living at this moment is to desperately try to nurture that tiny person’s every need while also remembering and even nurturing your own needs.

It’s hard. Quantitative engineering astrophysics analysis hard. Okay, I made that combination of words up, but it sounds really difficult. And it’s the only combination of words I could figure out to compare to the emotional exhaustion that comes with being a new parent.

So it’s no surprise that you, as a new mom, can easily begin to feel left out, isolated, and even victimized by those who are not currently in your role. And I get it. Heck, I even remember it. But I now have a rebuttal to all those memories . . . 

I remember being frustrated that my friends didn’t intentionally try to include me in their conversations, even when I was right there.

Uh yeah . . . that was because my friends recognized that I was physically and emotionally drained. They didn’t want to create more exhaustion. Just having me there made them happy. Spending time together was all any of us really needed. I just couldn’t see that at the time.

I remember everyone trying to “help” by literally taking my baby from me so I could do other stuff. They got to snuggle and I was supposed to feel like they were doing me some huge favor.

That’s not what I wanted or needed. I needed someone to let me sit and hold my baby while they did my dishes or laundry.

But I never asked, and the natural response from most people is to want to love on your newly created human. After all, cuteness overload! So nobody ever knew that’s what I needed for my emotional stability at that time. I didn’t speak up.

I remember feeling left out when my friends or even family would go out while I was left at home with a baby.

Yeah . . . they had gotten the message loud and clear when I couldn’t go out or had canceled the other times. They weren’t trying to exclude, they were understanding that “going out” meant something very different right now. It meant a lot of work and even more exhaustion.

I remember people saying the wrong things.

I don’t even remember what they said. But I remember feeling like they had “said that to take a jab at me”. They didn’t. People just don’t always know what to say, especially if we don’t tell them that their words or actions hurt us.

I remember people doing the wrong things.

Again, I don’t remember what they did. But I remember feeling like so many were doing so many things wrong. They weren’t helping me. They were hurting me. But again, I said nothing. And I certainly said nothing in love.

I remember keeping it all in and feeling isolated and victimized.

Yeah, that was my own fault. I did that to myself. I didn’t express my feelings or frustrations. I didn’t let people in. I let my new momma emotions run the rest of my emotions. I struggled with separating “mom” and “me”.

I remember nobody saying, “What do you need from me so I can help?

Yeah . . . that one is more for the support people. And that’s what I need to remember to say to new moms like you. But if I don’t, please tell me what you need from me. I do want to support you, love you, and never isolate or victimize you.

Speak up, momma. None of us know exactly what each other needs.

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Bailey Koch

The story of Bailey Koch finding her love for and strength in writing begins with near tragedy. In February of 2012, Bailey's husband was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a semi truck. As a method of getting information to friends and family, Bailey began a Caring Bridge page. Immediately, others began commenting that Bailey should be a writer. "Yeah right!" Bailey thought. "There's no way I could do that!" "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" was published in March 2015 and is written by Jeremy and Bailey Koch. It details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. High school sweethearts, Jeremy and Bailey know their lives were meant for each other and to help others by being honest about their story. They are proud parents of two beautiful, and often rambunctious, boys, Hudson and Asher. You can learn more about their journey and even purchase the eBook or paperback copy of "Never Alone" at www.jeremyandbailey.com. Additionally, a new book written for families to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression is now available. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is available at www.jeremyandbailey.com as well. Jeremy and Bailey found their purpose in helping others find hope when suffering from a disability, especially unseen illnesses like depression. Jeremy, who suffers from suicidal thoughts, continues to learn to live, not simply stay alive, through hope from God and the acceptance of help. Bailey is his biggest supporter and left her teaching job, after being in public education for seven years, to focus on what the two know to be God's plan. Bailey now works as a Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and will graduate with her doctoral degree in Special Education from Walden University sometime in 2019. Jeremy and Bailey co-own and operate Natural Escapes, a landscaping and greenhouse services business that also includes a paint your own pottery and canvas family art studio. The passion to advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves is strong. Bailey has a message of hope and acceptance for all; she has plans to completely demolish the societal stigma attached to mental illness.