On Needing People
By Anayah of SoulVegMama
Let me tell you about the one simple thing that’s drastically improved my quality of life as a mother: other mothers.
More and more, I’m nourished by the company of people. In my first few weeks as a mother, I was overwhelmed by the newness of it all: the responsibility, the bone-deep tiredness, the powerful feeling of having labored, birthed, and breastfed. It was and is all so achingly beautiful. I wanted to be able to connect with other women about it, if for nothing more than some sister-comrades in this journey of finding balance in the seemingly precarious life stage we’ve entered. I blogged about my disappointment in not finding support in the people around me and subsequently made lovely blog and twitter friends, like Jessica. But, even as the internet helps us connect more easily with like-minded folks and coupon deals, I have yet to see teleportation services offered at a respectable price.
In real life, I struck up conversations, shuffled the baby across town to children’s concerts, toured playgrounds around Brooklyn and even attended a couple of structured Mother’s Circle type groups with a secondary hope of connecting with other moms, to no avail. Interestingly enough, I was having a particularly challenging week where I felt a funk threatening to consume me when I met a woman at a Haitian dance class with a son only three weeks younger than my prince. She seemed a little stand-offish at first and my husband remarked that she seemed like she didn’t wanna be bothered. I chatted her up anyway.
Two or so months later and after a couple of false starts, we’re getting our boys together at least twice a week. I don’t know how it happened, but she met another mother who had another mother friend…until we looked up and constituted a full on contingent. Descending upon the Brooklyn Botanic Garden one afternoon, the six of us – all with sons – laughed and confided about our hopes, challenges, and quirks in parenting, partnering, and being grown women in this world. There’s lots of breastfeeding, occasional formula, some cloth diapering and some disposables. Among us are vegans and meateaters, donut lovers, a jewelry designer, a singer, a fashion obsession, a yogi for children, and this aspiring midwife. We babysit for each other, share meals, pass clothes up and down, and swap life hacks.
This reformed loner has a new mantra: people need people.
Thank you Anayah for sharing your story! It’s one that I think most parents, most moms, can relate to.