I find it amazing how isolating mothering can be. I mean, we’re surrounded by our kids all day, every day, our personal space is a thing of the past (I can’t even go the bathroom alone most days) and someone is always asking for something, yet it is still a lonely job.
That fact was brought home to me last night. I had a rare but treasured night out with the girls. This is a group of mothers that I normally meet with once a week for a playdate, one of us is always chasing a baby or policing a pre-school argument and we rarely get a chance to converse as women, not mommies. Last night, we agreed to meet for wine and cake in celebration of one member’s birthday. It was a luxury (girls – we need to do that more often!).
As motherhood is the dominant force in all our lives at the moment, the conversation naturally turned in that direction. What was interesting was how similar our experiences were… and how surprised we were to learn this was the case. There was a visible sense of relief in the knowledge that other women had the same struggles, that the feeling of near defeat doesn’t mean we are bad mothers, it means we are normal.
I applaud the honesty of the women who took us to the place where we were able to freely talk about the dark thoughts and the insecurities. Mothering kids, particularly through the first few years, is a demanding and overwhelming job. It’s time we recognize that. It’s also time we band together and show our scars. There are stories I believed I would never tell, thinking they marked me as a bad mother, now I know better. The more we share with each other, the more we understand about ourselves. It doesn’t just take a village to raise a child… it takes a village to raise a family.