Tag Archives: Mother

When Motherhood Isn’t Instagram-Worthy

#motherhood

Scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day, I decided to check out the hashtag, “motherhood.” It was everything I thought it would be: babies sleeping peacefully on their mother’s flat postpartum bellies, children laughing as they run through sprinklers and lick perfectly swirled ice-cream cones, the sun setting behind smiling mothers and toddlers clad in matching outfits. The photos are clean and mess free, full of smiles and daydreams, perfect lighting and one-off shots. It’s not real and yet, according to Instagram, this is what “mom life” looks like.

It’s a definition that’s gotten a little twisted along the way – one that I, myself, am guilty of contributing to. My living room floor is currently a maze of dirty laundry piles, carrot-muffin crumbs, and crayons. I ate a cookie for breakfast, my toddler watches far too many Paw Patrol episodes, and last week, there was that faint but persistent smell of milk emanating from somewhere deep within my son’s room. But if you look through my Instagram, you’ll notice that I have never posted a photo of any of that. After all, who wants to look at reality when we can carefully craft fiction?

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Dear Pregnant Mama, It’s Not You, It’s Me

Dear Pregnant Mama,

I saw you at church the other week. You sat with your belly blossoming in all its third-trimester glory and I couldn’t help but sneak peeks at you. You may have wondered if there was something on your shirt, some snot residue left over from your toddler with the nose cold. But it wasn’t you I was staring at, it was me.

I miscarried a baby last December. Eleven weeks along, I was fully expecting to be in your shoes this time of year. I didn’t expect to be sitting here, aching hearted and empty-wombed. Looking at you, I see my hopes and dreams. I see everything that I cannot yet have but so desperately wish for. And as painful as it is for me to admit, it still hurts to look at you.

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The Truth about New Year’s When You’ve Experienced Loss

Every year on January 1st, life hits the reset button. Echoing around the globe are calls for “fresh starts,” “new beginnings,” and a detailed plan of attack for the inevitable weight-loss goals. Out with the old and in crashes the new on a glittering wave of 10-second-countdowns and misty eyed renditions of “Auld Lang Syne.”

At the stroke of midnight, we boldly launch ourselves into a new year filled with endless promise and opportunity. Excited over the prospect of what these next twelve months will hold, we dutifully record our 105 resolutions and set out to achieve our “best year yet!”

This year will be better than last – we tell ourselves this over and over again as we toss out half eaten chocolate bars and strap on brand new pairs of running shoes. The blank page before us is just waiting to be transcribed; it’s brimming with possibility and void of last year’s sorrows, mishaps, tears, and pain. This year we’ll be a better, stronger, happier version of ourselves.

But resetting isn’t always that simple.

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8 Ways to Support a Grieving Mom

“I lost my baby too.”

I’ve heard these words over and over again. The stories may differ but the heartache remains the same. These are the quiet confidences whispered between grieving mamas; a single sentence that binds us together over stripped wombs and ragged hearts.

The day I lost my son, I found myself joining an unexpectedly large group of mourning women. They were all around me and until then, I’d never even noticed.

Statistically speaking, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage – but despite this staggering figure, it can be difficult to put faces to these numbers. As a comparatively quiet group of mothers, it’s sometimes easier to ignore their loss rather than figure out how to approach them.

But how do we respond when a grieving mother shares with us the crushing pain of infant (or child) loss? How do we offer support for the friend who calls us in tears from the hospital? How do we walk alongside mothers in the midst of such heartbreaking grief?

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