To All The Mamas Who Have Nothing But Love For Other Mamas,
You know who you are.
You’re the moms who are constantly reaching out and waving your flags of solidarity for the new moms on the block. You are the moms who are there for the breastfeeding moms and the formula moms. You high-five the babywearing moms and walk alongside the stroller moms. You are the mom who knows when to listen, when to pipe up and when to pour the coffee.
It doesn’t matter whether you shout your support out loud or demonstrate it in a more subtle way, the message is clear — you are here for other moms. And, because I think you’re so amazing, I’m going to ask you a favor.
Could you open your arms a little wider for the moms who are missing their babies?
It can be hard to know the mothers whose motherhood is invisible because you can’t see what’s not there. Sometimes a mother’s arms look full and you may not know about the heart that’s even fuller. You may not give a second thought to the moms who don’t show up to playgroup but who have said goodbye to their reasons for going. You might not know who they are, but you can still hold space for them.
You know that incredible compassion you demonstrate for other moms? I’m speaking of the compassion that leads you to be thoughtful in your interactions and careful with your words.
Do the same thing for the grieving moms.
Instead of asking questions like “How many children do you have?” You could ask, “Are you a mom, too?” If a mom senses your compassion and decides to open up, please be ready to listen. Don’t suddenly shift your gaze or change the subject. Stay with us.
Please be careful when you meet a woman with no visible children. Before you ask, “Don’t you want kids?” remember that whether she does or not, having babies isn’t always possible in the way we imagined as little girls.
I know how much you want to lend your support and I wish I could tell you more of what to do and say, but the truth is — I can’t. Because, even as a grieving mother, I make mistakes too.
All I am asking is for you to open your heart and your mind to the idea that motherhood is more than just messy houses and snuggly babies. It’s more than sleepless nights and memes about Target. I can trust you to understand what motherhood truly is.
Motherhood is loving a child. True motherhood exists in anyone who has ever made room for a child in their heart. It’s amazing to think of just how many mothers are out there in our world. There are mothers everywhere and they could use some support.
And they could use it from someone just like you.
A Fellow Mama