Note: Vanessa from The Bubbalino Kitchen is one of our Hello Mamas Influencers! If you’re interested in learning more about our Influencer program and its benefits, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Becoming a Mama brings with it a whole bunch of newness – euphoria of a new kind, tiredness on another level (this one you’d been warned about though right?!), sometimes-panic off the charts, a nurturing instinct like you’ve never known, self doubt, love beyond compare and despite your new constant companion by your side or in your arms: undeniable elements of isolation.
Your life is not and never will be the same in any way, shape or form and though there are times you will wish for the ‘old you’ back, that’s just not possible my friend. You are a new you!
My journey into motherhood began around the same time as one of my best friends, and unfortunately it was the very entering into this new phase of our lives that caused our friendship to implode. Where I would have always assumed that going through this amazing experience at the same time as a bestie would bring increased closeness and an even greater bond to a wonderful existing kinship, it instead grew a great divide, threw our once inseparability into total disarray to the point where we no longer speak. We no longer call each other friend, or even acquaintance.
Every other part of my introduction to motherhood was (I can honestly testify) one of the best times of my life. The unfortunate friendship situation however made me realise how important it is to make sure you are being true to yourself in your journey and making choices and parenting decisions that you are comfortable with and (as much as possible) confident in. And more than that, to have people alongside you that you trust, that you can be yourself with and you can be honest with about your own journey, the struggles, the joys, the everything. Even if your parenting decisions are not the same as theirs. While having things in common is important, the polarising nature of parenting and the guilt that Mamas seem to place upon themselves is only exacerbated when comparison enters the dynamic. But having friends who think exactly the same as you and make all the same decisions in life as you is pretty rare and in my opinion not altogether healthy anyway. Diversity is the spice of life right?!
The isolation I’ve experienced since being a Mama is mostly summed up in that one situation and it took years for me to get to a place where I’m OK with what went down. Isolation can mean different things for different people in the journey of Motherhood. Sure being at home for hours on end with a tiny baby can sometimes be lonely. Some women are not the stay at home kind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing less about me if I choose not to return to paid employment in favour of staying home with my littles. I think because of the experience I’ve touched on, I made a real effort early on to get involved in something social where I could be amongst other new mums whose babies were at similar stages to my own. My antenatal class (with the exception of one beautiful warm-hearted soul) didn’t provide me with lasting friendships, but another group I enrolled into did just that. I loved that here we were all free to voice opinions without being judged, that we all made different choices as to what was best for our babies – breast or bottle, attachment parenting, crying it out, co-sleeping, on a schedule, play it by the baby’s rhythm and so on and everyone knew that they were supported in their decisions. Because what does it really matter anyway as long as it works for you, your baby, your partner, your life? That’s always been my take on it anyway…
That group didn’t live close by, so although we looked forward to our once a week catch up, I would still have loved to have had a friend to regularly walk with or catch up for coffee with, without the need for a half an hour drive across town. Social media gave me a great sense of community and I never really felt alone for that reason, combined with having a supportive family and my own business to distract me at home but I can tell you how much I would have loved something like Hello Mamas to have been around 6+ years ago when I was embarking on this parenting journey.
I am so honoured to have been invited to be a Hello Mamas Influencer and to introduce this fantastic concept to my New Zealand readers. Hello Mamas is an app to help you meet local Mums, plan playdates for your kids, and get the support every mother needs to really enjoy motherhood! It uses an exclusive matching system specifically designed based on the founders own experiences which makes finding mums near you easy, quick and fun. How you use Hello Mamas is up to you! Schedule a playdate, coffee date, or cocktail meet-up, or build an amazing online network of moms right in the app. Visit the website above or their Facebook page for more information and to learn more about this service.
I will be writing for their blog and sharing my experiences as a Mama, as well as recipes with their huge database of followers across the world. Hello Mamas is relatively new to the NZ market, but get online and join now to make some new friends in your area.
Have you experienced feelings of isolation in your Motherhood journey?
(This was reposted with permission by Vanessa)