Last night I meant to text a girlfriend of mine who is five days past her pregnancy due date. Like anyone waiting for a baby to arrive, I had spent the last week anxiously stalking my phone, overjoyed with excitement. Then something distracted me and I didn't text her.
This morning I woke up to a text message picture of my friend's beautiful baby girl. Ironically, her daughter was born at the exact same time I had thought to text my friend.
My friend said that everyone had been messaging her and it had gotten old, very fast. She said she knew I wouldn't message her because my daughter had been a week late, and I remembered the frustration of those messages in the last stages of my pregnancy.
It later occurred to me--I did understand the annoyance of being messaged in those final days, but I had forgotten.
No matter how experienced or inexperienced we are with babies--whether it be our first pregnancy or our fifth, or whether we are the expectant mother or simply a friend anxiously waiting the good news--we are all guilty of insulting, annoying, frustrating, and overstepping when it comes to parenting, motherhood and labor.
It isn't because we are horrible, thoughtless people. Parenting is just a very personal experience--for everyone involved. No matter what we know or don't know, no one child or individual is the same.
If you've been with me awhile, you know that I once previously has a site called, Clean & Proper. Over the years it transitioned from a site on blogging about how to be organized and uphold everyday manners, to a site on green living and clean eating. And though I often wonder, "What was I thinking?" The truth is, it reflected where I was in my life. For those of you who have been with me since the beginning, or through this transition--thank you so much for your continued support.
Mommy Has Struggles was born out of the inspiration [and perhaps personal need] to talk about the failures of parenting, our struggles with tantrums, our annoyances with spouses (as much as they may be loved!), and to acknowledge that Facebook and social media generally highlight only the good parts of life. And though life and parenting is a beautiful journey, at many times it isn't. At many times it is a gruesome struggle and we're not always sure we'll survive. And so in January I decided to close the chapter on Clean & Proper, and focus on something more honest.
The text message from my dear friend this morning only further highlighted what I have realized about parenting--when it comes to our opinions on children and pregnancy, we often only think about how we feel and not how others might be feeling--no matter what our role in the scenario.
Though I was so frustrated with the final stages of pregnancy and loathed every voicemail, text and Facebook message about the status of the birth of my daughter, I was ready to turnaround and send one of those messages to my dear friend. Call it pregnancy amnesia--or just being wrapped up in my own life, I completely forgot what it felt like to be in that final week of pregnancy.
After the birth of my now three-year old, I discovered my own need to explore many of the complex relationships that are formed and changed as a result of children, and also a place to simply commiserate with fellow parents (and even non-parents for that matter).
Though parenting is often a magical journey, it can also be a lonely, frustrating world. Regardless od what we see on Instagram or Facebook, it's important to share the struggle stories with each other--to know we're not alone, that we're all failing and flailing together, and that no matter what anyone says or advises, we are always the best parents for our children. And even in the chaos of not knowing, we still know best despite how much and how often we might doubt ourselves.
So, welcome friends to Mommy Has Struggles!
xoxo Sarah Jane