I can see so many mothers hiding their anxiety through my lens as a photographer. The balancing. The forced smiles. I always emphasize to parents that there are so much purity and beauty within the chaos, but that doesn't immediately take away the uncertainty some feel. I have found that as soon as I reach out and start to relate to them, discussing similar situations I have been in as a mother, the struggles we all face as imperfect people doing our best raising our families, I can see the thankfulness in their eyes as they finally decompress.
For example, I am training for the TCS New York Marathon on November 5th, and I am smack dab right in the middle of my busy season. As if that wasn't enough, I have had late-night laundry rounds since lice decided to take up residence at my daughter's school and although she didn't catch them she came she came down with a nasty cold. I don't know which is worse - the possibility of lice or the temper tantrums of an ill three-year-old. To top it all off, my husband has been traveling for work. I feel depleted. I feel overwhelmed. I am signaling SOS.
It is exhausting.
I get it; I really do. It’s the hardest balancing act. Work, family, the regret that comes from a lack of time spent with my child. The need for help when it isn’t available. The difficulty of doing all this in an overwhelming culture of parent-shaming.
When we have no one else around us, it can all feel overwhelming. And yet the power of women and mothers is immeasurable. We should be harnessing it, not putting each other down.
Every woman can tell you about those amazing friends who are like family, who don’t even ask but tell you that they are going to come and help. Those friends have their own needs and balancing acts, and yet they recognize those times of crisis and take the reins.
We mamas gotta stick together.
So, I got to thinking: I don’t want to spend time in another Facebook group loaded with opinions and recommendations. I want a tribe, a group of women that get it and recognize the need for help. Women who will show up with dinner when needed and check in with you when you’re down, women who will admit that “today was really hard.” Women who help other women, in sisterhood, and who will say, “I’ve got you right now.”
A Tribe of Motherhood.
That’s why I’m starting the group I am. I want to provide a space for women to lift each other up. To be brutally honest and real. To reach out to each other. Sisters, are you in?!
Look for it soon, and remember: you are not alone.