This post is part of the 31 Days to Flourish in Motherhood series. Click here for the whole list!
When Baby G was eight months old, we attended a La Leche League meeting, as we do almost every month. When Big E was born, I started going for breastfeeding/mothering support, and then for the sanity of being around other mothers… these days, I go partly because some of my good friends also attend the meetings and partly because the mothers of LLL gave me a lot of hope when I was struggling through those early nursing days, and now I want to give back.
At this particular meeting, my little crawler and I were happily hanging out with our friends when a new mama walked in with her 10-day-old. She looked completely at ease, but as we began the meeting and she shared about her nursing experience (and motherhood up to that point), I saw my new-mama self in her. I listened to her frustrations, her fears, how intensely she was already striving to master this new role… my heart hurt for her.
And my heart hurt for me.
I envied this woman’s vulnerability. As a brand-new mother, I had rarely shared with anyone how much I struggled — except my loving and supportive husband, who got to be on the receiving end of all the crazy. In the middle of that LLL meeting, as that new mama shared her story and asked for help and advice, I envied her ability to do so. I wished that I had opened myself up much earlier to a community of women who could sympathize and maybe advise but could at least say, “I’ve been there. It’s awful. It may not seem like it, but it will get better. And in the meantime, it’s okay to hate it.” OR perhaps, “YES! Isn’t it wonderful?? When we reached that milestone, I felt like we had arrived!!!”
I have digressed enormously, and this post wasn’t supposed to be about vulnerability. But it is, so tomorrow I will share the rest of the story — what happened at the end of that meeting. Today, I will remind myself of the value of vulnerability in my journey to flourishing in motherhood. As I have allowed myself to open up, I have found that more people identify with me than I ever could have dreamed.