My favorite reaction from one of my best friends when I told her I was pregnant with my second kid was “Santa caca!!” (literally: “Holy crap!!”)
Can you relate? That intense feeling of excitement mixed with the deer-in-headlights realization that you will be swallowed into the depths of the newborn stage while your toddler screams at the very top of his vocal range that he did not, in fact, want his pancakes cut into triangles even though he specifically requested pancake triangles “Like pizza!” mere seconds before the his toddler-revolt.
Or maybe after several months of peeing on sticks, you finally see the plus sign appear. You’re pregnant! Congratulations! You’re excited, nervous, a little uncertain about what kind of mom or dad you will be. You want to be a fun parent, but you want to make sure your kid has boundaries. You want to keep up your monthly brunch with your best friends and your husband wants to keep his Friday poker game. You’ve heard “it takes a village” to raise a child, so you’ll need to make sure to find all the best places to take your kid for fun, educational activities. Oh, and the registry for the baby shower: do you really need all these gadgets? Who knew a baby needed so much stuff?
Let’s go back to that idea that it takes a village to raise a child. Makes sense: the job of children is to learn how to interact with the world around them, the more people they get to interact with and learn from, the better they are at interacting with the world, no matter what problems, challenges or joys they face.
What if I told you that it also takes a village to raise a mother?
Mainstream culture in the United States gives us, as mothers, some pretty loud but very mixed messages:
1 – We must do all the things, work, play, love, but not too many things or we’re depriving our children of quality interactions; but mostly we should work, but not all day, and only 3 days a week, but then we’re lazy, what? Just stop.
2- We must prepare our kids well enough that they are ready for school at increasingly younger ages (more about school readiness on that another day), but they need enough time to play outside, but not by themselves or the neighbor might call the police. I wish I was joking.
and let’s not forget…
3-BABY GEAR! We are told we must have all the gadgets to make parenting easier, or we’re not being good enough mothers. A quick giant online store search for “lightweight baby stroller” brings up over 500 results. Really? Really. And how do we know if we have THE RIGHT ONE? HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M DOING THE RIGHT MOTHERING THING?
You don’t. None of us do. But the more mothers and parents we interact with and learn from, the better we are at interacting with the world, with our kids, no matter what problems, challenges or joys we face.
It’s all so overwhelming! I understand, I was in the same boat as you not long ago…still am sometimes, because overwhelmed is a state of being that we get to know intimately as parents. I’m here to tell you that you do not have to feel overwhelmed by yourself. The doulas and child development specialists of Third Coast Birth are here to help.
Who are we?
We are Shawna, Lauren and Mayra – your birth doula team extraordinaire and Margarita – your friendly neighborhood parenting guru.
We are professional doulas, child development specialists, mothers, partners and friends; we are your village.
We are here to listen to your worries, validate your concerns and call you out when you need a reality check. We are here to walk with you through pregnancy, sway with you through contractions, hold your hair back when necessary and we even stick around to help you figure out things like: why all of your friendships are different after having that baby, to help you relearn how to communicate with your partner now that you only see each other either through spitup-streaked hair and sleepy eyes or for that glorious 3 hour date night every other week during which you try to cram in all the adult things! (No puns intended there, none at all.)
It takes a village to raise a mother and the doulas and fellow parents of Third Coast Birth can be your village. Drop us a note or give us a call, we are at your service!