No, We are Not Ok, Thanks for Asking

Recently Megan Markle was interviewed about being a new mother. If you haven’t seen this yet stop what your doing and go watch it. The princess was asked how motherhood was treating her and the interviewer asked a question she wasn’t expecting. “How are YOU doing?”.

The poised royal answered truthfully that it has been difficult and she isn’t “ok”. She thanked him for asking how she was doing, a question that is usually not asked of new mothers.

When I saw this interview I actually cried. It was beautiful to see this woman, who is expected to be a picture of perfection, get real and raw about how hard it is to be a mother. I Was blown away.

Even Megan Markle was stunned that someone asked how she was doing personally, because not many people ask how WE are doing after the baby comes.

As new moms we just went through the craziest 10 months of our entire lives, had the most physically intense experience, and are given this tiny living creature with no set rule book or instructions.

We are healing from a human being escaping our bodies, most of us have stitches, some had major surgery. Our hormones are wild. Our world has been turned completely upside down.

We are constantly asked “how’s the baby?” but rarely asked “how are you doing?”

The answer… even when we default and say “I’m good!” is probably “I’m not ok!”, and you know what… that’s okay!

I don’t care if you’re the queen of England with all the help in the world, the emotions that come with motherhood are intense. The pressures that come with motherhood can be overwhelming.

I am 8 months in, and while my crazy hormones are finally beginning to level out (although this may not be the case for every mama), the intensity has not.

I can only imagine that as this little girl gets older the pressure I’m feeling and the stress will build. I mean right now she can’t say more than “mama” and “dada”, she isn’t getting bullied by other kids, and I’m not dealing with test scores, homework, dating or driving.

As moms in today’s world we try to balance so many things… key word is try.

We work, we take care of our household, our significant others, our animals, our families. We try to make time to see friends. We try to make time for both sets of grandparents. We try to make time to do things for ourselves, like workout, get our nails done, get a haircut for the first time in a year, take a vacation to target because everyone says it’s important.Oh yeah and make sure your spending enough time bonding with your child, feeding them the best foods, helping them reach their milestones, playing with them, giving them new experiences, and the rest of the list of things society expects us to do to raise an ideal human being.

Believe me there is no balance happening here.

Facebook is flooded with articles directed towards moms about the toys we shouldn’t allow our babies to use, how baby led weaning is better tha purées, “breast is best”. Articles saying you shouldn’t vaccinate your kid, articles saying why you should vaccinate your kid, how we shouldn’t yell at our kids, how our kids need stricter rules, how they need less rules…. as if trying to figure out this parenting thing wasn’t stressful enough!

I know that as time goes on,and my baby becomes more independent and self-sufficient that some things will become easier, but you know what, some other things will become harder.

I mean every time I get a schedule down or think I know how to deal with what my daughter needs, it all changes again. That’s life.

As soon as we feel like we’re getting slightly on top of things, life throws a big old curve ball. I mean… did you know there are like 5 sleep regressions!!??

We need to be ok with not being okay. As mothers we need to acknowledge that no, we in fact are not always ok.

We need support, we need community, we need love, we need help.

I am beyond blessed to have friends that have gone through pregnancy and motherhood before me. I’m blessed to have two best friends that I was pregnant at the same time as, that also have baby girls that I can be open and candid with, that I can cry with, laugh with, and vent with. I’m blessed to have a husband that constantly points out how proud he is of the mother I am to his daughter, and tells me how grateful he is for me. I am blessed to have my mother, mother-in-law, sisters-in-law and so many other family members nearby to help me.

Not every mama has these people.

Some moms are raising their babies on their own, some live hundreds or thousands of miles away from family, some are the first of their friends to experience this, some don’t have people in their life that are open to sharing the hard times along with the good. Some mamas don’t have supportive husbands or family.

To all the moms out there I see you. Know that you are supported by me. Know that you aren’t alone.

Even when we have all the help in the world we can feel alone and isolated.

So moms, friends of mothers, family members, partners, if you see a mom who seems to be struggling offer her some help. Offer her a hug, to hold her child, to watch her kids for an hour so she can go to the store. Tell her she’s doing a great job, because she probably has no idea that she is.

It’s ok to not be okay. It’s ok to struggle. It’s normal.

Let’s lift one another up, band together and be the community each of us needs. We may parent differently, feed our kids differently, live completely different lifestyles but we are all struggling along the same journey.

Let’s be kind to one another and supportive of our differences rather than judge another mom for doing things another way.

Let’s start the hard conversations that no one likes to talk about. Let’s open our hearts and share our struggles.

We’re all struggling one way or another. Even the mom who bakes everything from scratch, only feeds her kids organic, personally sewed her kids Halloween costume, and is dressed to the nines has her moments of self doubt and tears.

I see you mamas. I am here for you.

Let’s be ok with not being okay, because differences aside, we’re all going through this together.