I just discovered a podcast, One Bad Mother. According to their website, One Bad Mother is a place
where they discuss the “thrills and embarrassments of motherhood and strive for less judging and more laughing”. Sounds pretty great, right? (A warning: it’s a comedy podcast and it is not for delicate or young ears)
One of their recent guests was the founder of a website, TellAnotherMom.com. This particular episode was addressing the so-called “mommy wars” (a phrase I hate) and in it they discussed some feedback they’d gotten from their listeners about the whole working vs. stay-at-home debate. They said that they discovered “three universal truths” about all moms:
- They are all tired
- They are all loaded with guilt
- They have no time for themselves.
I wasn’t at all surprised to hear any of this, but it still made me sad to know that while we all have so much in common that we could be bonding over, the focus is instead on our differences. Which is why I was so pleased to learn about and hear from Janet Casey, the founder of TellAnotherMom.com which is a website focused on encouraging moms to let go of judgment and instead offer support in big ways and small, including by simply telling another mom that she’s doing a great job.
Something I especially admired about Janet is her honesty and openness about her own struggles with being judgmental and insecure. All three women having the discussion acknowledged that for them, the turning point in their ability to be supportive of the choices of other moms was when they were able to say “I don’t have it all figured out. I’m just doing my best. This must be true for other moms as well”.
Janet says that something she’s learned from sharing her struggles and stories is that people just want to hear that they are not the only ones struggling. As a post-partum doula who routinely talks to mothers in the days and weeks post-birth, I never ceased to be amazed by how many of them think they are the only ones among their friends and acquaintances to struggle with breastfeeding and sleep deprivation and adjusting to having a new member of the family. Often times, the thing I do that helps these mothers more than anything else is to simply reassure them that they are not alone and that the difficulties they are having have been experienced by most mothers.
Motherhood can be so isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a source of connection if we can commit to being open and vulnerable with ourselves and each other. TellAnotherMom.com is a great resource for that. Go have a look and tell the mothers in your life what a great job they are doing.
About V.K. Harber
V.K. Harber is a yogi, writer and mother of one. She is the co-founder and former managing director of Samdhana-Karana Yoga: A Healing Arts Center in Tacoma, WA, a non-profit yoga studio.She currently resides in Seoul, South Korea where she works as a yoga teacher and post-partum doula. (www.vkharber.com) She is also a contributing writer at World Moms Blog and can be found on twitter @VKHarberRYT.