Mums need to talk to other mums.
It might sound blindingly obvious but I mean they really need to talk.
Not a casual ‘hi’ at the school gate or discussing what time next week’s soccer match is on.
I’m talking about the nitty gritty stuff. The stuff that makes you lay awake in bed at night thinking: “Is this normal?”
I recently went to a grown up party (at a place that didn’t even have kids’ meals on the menu!) and I caught up with a friend I hadn’t seen since she’d had her 2 children.
She immediately spilled the beans about her horrendous birth experiences, PND and overwhelming anxiety. At the end she said, “I’m sorry, it’s just so great to talk to another mum.”
She needn’t have apologised because I totally get it.
There is a very good reason blogs like this one are so popular with mums. We are all seeking answers, validation, trying to abate the overwhelming, and usually completely needless, guilt we constantly feel.
But no matter how informative or relatable a blog is, nothing beats the connection of talking to another human about shared experiences.
The more we talk about mental load, being a working mum, being a stay at home mum, PND, children’s chronic health issues, learning difficulties etc. etc. etc. the more we feel like we are not alone.
My friend didn’t know that I had suffered from PND, because she didn’t have kids then, not many of my friends did. When I told her I could relate to her journey she was blown away.
“We need to talk more about this stuff!”
She didn’t mean her and me specifically, although we could have talked for days, she meant collectively – we as women and mothers.
And she is absolutely right.
There is plenty of research to support that connecting with other parents helps prevent social isolation, boosts confidence and enhances parenting skills. These are the reasons that mother’s groups came into being.
The hard truth is that talking to another mother about the reality of motherhood can be daunting as we often fear judgement, especially if we are feeling doubt or inadequacy. However, when you open up you will probably find that most mothers can relate to your experiences on some level. And if the one you are talking to doesn’t, you won’t have to look far to find one that does.
Don’t live in isolation thinking your struggles are only your own. You are not alone.
Millions of mothers stand with you. Reach out and start a conversation.