My youngest child is a little over two months old now. I found the postpartum period incredibly easy this time around--perhaps too easy. Physically, I bounced back almost instantly. I was up and around, preparing the house for guests the morning after. I may have given the
impression that things are completely back to normal, but they are not. Despite my quick recovery, I am still balancing the needs of a newborn and three older children, household duties, and paid freelance work. It can quickly become overwhelming. I have been thinking about what I need, and I decided to share it here. I do not claim to speak for every busy mom, but hopefully some of you can find commiseration here. Maybe friends, family, and partners could also learn a thing or two about the kind of support a mom needs.
I need a friend who will listen and allow me to vent without judgment. When I talk about struggles I am facing with my child, I do not want to hear about how lucky you are that you have a "good" baby. I do not want you to informally diagnose my child with some mental
disorder or suggest I abandon my parenting style. I just want someone to listen. I would be happy to do the same for you. And when I don't have time to hang out, please don't take it personally. Weekends are often the only time my whole family can be together, and we really need that.
I need family members who love and accept me, imperfect as I am. Your opinion means so much to me, so try not to be too disappointed if I fall behind in my day-to-day tasks. I am doing the best I can. There will be time enough for chores when my babies are older. When you plan a get-together, please consider my children. Everything goes so much more smoothly when their needs are met. I might be intensely emotional around you, and I apologize, but know that this
is because you are one of the few people I trust enough to open up to. If I parent differently from you, I do not mean it as an insult. I am just doing what I feel works best for my kids. I know it sounds silly, but I really just want you to be proud of me.
Most of all, I need a partner who will support me, not just in word but in deed. I appreciate that you value my thoughts and opinions, but what I really need is for you to act on it. If you want me to be an attentive mother to our children it will require a lot of my time and energy--especially when they are little. Please support me in this effort by picking up some of my slack around the house. Keep up with the messes you make. Do a load of laundry or pick up a broom now and then. Sometimes, I feel emotionally depleted at the end of the day. Please know that I love you and that I am not intentionally ignoring you. Even when I am not up to being intimate, I still very much need
your affection. The rest will come in time.
To all of my loved ones, thank you for listening and for always being there. To my fellow moms, you are not alone. I hope you find everything you need.