Mom Supporting Moms! by Mai AlSaudi

After I gave birth to my daughter, who I think all of you know her name is Ameera, I was surrounded by mothers who were twice my age and the mothers who were my age and still bombarded me with phrases like ” it’s so blissful,” “oh breast feeding is so fulfilling,” “don’t you feel so in love with your child” and all these things that I was not feeling or enjoying, on the contrary! I couldn’t breastfeed, I couldn’t connect or know the baby I gave birth to & I was in agonizing physical pain!

One afternoon, my husband volunteered to babysit & let me have a quiet dinner with my friend, I was talking to her and we came to the subject of breastfeeding, I paused, I was too worried to share with her how painful it was & how helpless I feel… “Don’t you just hate the difficulty of breastfeeding! I know I was happy when my boy wheened himself & took the bottle” she said….

I looked up and like Pandora’s box I started pouring everything I felt & every difficulty I faced… she didn’t necessary face my exact experience, but it just helped finding someone who knows what you are talking about…. someone who won’t judge you or find you weird or ungrateful….

I knew than that what we need as mothers is each other, so I started reading and attending other support group meetings to understand the mechanism & how it works

Making a few phone calls, a wonderful woman who runs a parenthood support center, offering psychotherapy, childbirth & breastfeeding education for mothers… supported my concept of creating an anonymous support group for new moms & offered us the space to hold our meetings completely free of charge. I was ecstatic.

Finally, us mothers will gather up, we will share everything, the good, the bad & the amazing, we will be there for each other & each one of us will find the comfort knowing that she is not alone…

the first meeting approached, the attendance was great, we covered various topics, breastfeeding, traumatic birth, working moms & difficult babies…

As the weeks passed, I was still committed and looking forward to meeting moms, it was my salvation, my elixir of energy to help me go on the week after.

the coming weeks less people showed up to the meetings, I received a lot of messages expressing that they don’t feel comfortable showing their identity & scared of being recognized and holding the stigma of ” Struggling Mother” like it was something to be ashamed of!

I was so angry, not at them nor at myself, but on society who carved the idea of perfection in our heads & hearts! if you’re a mother, you can’t be nothing but perfect, cheerful & always fulfilled!

it is unaccepted of you to be tired, not feel fulfilled by motherhood & miss your career or school, you are not allowed to miss your free time in the salon or even complain about it to Mothers like you!

 

I am still committed to changing that, either by writing about it, being open about the difficulties I face as a mother, who works, studies & has many dreams to fulfill.

I know with time & procession I will get there & the world will eventually open up and understand that mothers too need support…

 

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