Motherhood came with a lot of beauty and happiness, but it also came with many tough times and serious struggles. Of course, learning how to take proper care of a newborn is no walk on the beach, however, my biggest struggle was finding a safe space to discuss all of the hardships I found myself buried in.
When searching for someone, anyone, to empathize with me, I came across many parents who lived in a spectacular world where everything was “so wonderful” and “such a blessing” all of the time which left me wondering if I was the only mom struggling to figure out motherhood, or if I’m just not cut out for parenting. I found myself resenting hang outs with other parents because I simply could not keep up with the bullshit. Needless to say, I isolated myself from the parenting world.
Recently, I was invited to a “Muffins and Mom-osas” breakfast hosted by Baby Dove and I was battling whether it was something worth attending.
My quandary stood with whether I would have to sit amongst the perfect "social media moms" who have their lives together and feel completely miserable, or if it’ll actually be a fun gathering with other mothers who are as real as I wanted to be. I hoped for the best when confirming my attendance.
The breakfast was held at Fig and Olive in Los Angeles — it was a beautiful set up with a carefully curated breakfast menu and a plethora of Baby Dove products that I was dying to bring home. It felt less stuffy than what I was preparing myself for throughout the drive over, so I let my guard down. Throughout the breakfast, moms (and a few dads) spoke about parenthood in a way I had been yearning for.
The space was safe for us to discuss our struggles with parenting, the very high highs and the lowest of lows, and full of fun and laughter throughout all of it. A conversation about social media and parenthood came up during the gathering and it made me realize I was being deeply affected – in a negative way – by social media mothering. I tend to tell myself that I’m above it and can separate reality from social media but the truth is, I couldn’t.
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@elomayayeepro: Little piggies. These tiny toes will never be this tiny again. Thanks to newborn photographs there will always be a constant reminder of just how far she's come. All the squealy feels will always be there because of an image. #existintime #newbornmacro #newbornportraits #ghananewborns #newborn #babystudio #blackmomsblog
The struggle to stay fit, always have my hair done, be on top of the latest everything and be phenomenal mother, a perfect wife and a solid friend to everyone I knew, was absolutely real.
As parents there’s this notion that parenting should be easy because you chose this part of your life, but the truth lies in the fact that whether it was a choice or not, parenting is hard. Of course, it’s also a huge blessing and definitely something to write home about, but it’s not easy and it shouldn’t be taboo to discuss the difficulties.
I left the breakfast happier than I expected to and I found myself needing to be a part of safe spaces for parents, especially mothers. Luckily there are organizations, communities and platforms that cater to me venting my needs as a mother, a wife, a friend and everything else in between.
The conversation around parenting doesn’t have to feel lonely, and with more podcasts, blogs, Instagram feeds and forums opening up about the realities of parenthood, it’s clear to see that there's a shift happening.
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