I have to say sorry.
Sorry to any mother I ever judged before I became a mother.
I did it to people I loved, to friends and stories I heard, or even to the stranger in the store. I can remember the thoughts I’d have… “Why is their kid in PJs at the grocery store? Don’t they want to teach their kid to get ready for the day?” or “Why is she always letting them drink milk ?” or “Why wouldn’t they just let their family- the people who love them the most- give them whatever gifts they want?” Ugh, the list unfortunately goes on.
I don’t know who I thought I was. But I can say, becoming a mother has made me a better person- or at least a less judgey one. Having 2 people, who mean more than words could ever describe, depend on you 24/7 really puts things into perspective.
And with my new mind set, I think the hardest thing is relating to my "old" friends. There aren't many people who get it aside from my husband or our parents and our siblings (who all have children) in our lives right now. We are “young” and therefore can say none of our close friends that we knew pre-babies, are even pregnant yet. It’s been manageable, but it’s still hard.
We lived in Cincinnati for a year, and made friends with a group of other young families. It was something I never knew I needed. Hang outs instantly became stress free because everyone understood what a fussy baby meant, or that it’d be nice if everyone cleared out by 7:30 pm- at the latest.
It’s so hard to explain to our friends the things they don’t know. I sure wouldn't have listened. I would have stayed at a friends house til 12, not thinking they'd be up a time or two in the night and up for good by 6:30. And I wouldn't have thought to suggest I bring over food to give them a night off.
I apologize to Mama’s who I gave sweets to their kids when they didn’t want to, or judged them for having bedtime chaos. I really don’t know why I had any room to talk, or relate. Babysitting experience is not the same as parenting. Kids are hard, babies are hard, and each Mom (and Dad) are just doing the best things in the moment to take care of their child.
So, as we recently moved back to suburbs of Philadelphia. We are trying. Trying to find a community of other parents and friends in the stages of our lives. Mom’s who I can relate to and who understand the struggles- no matter how big or small.
And I’m trying to forgive myself for what I didn’t know. And to forgive others, who don’t know yet. It’s time I start to focus on doing what is best for me and my family right now despite it possibly not being understood by others.
So other new Mama's out there with no Mama friends- I see you! Let's give ourselves and a break and remember we are shaping our kids lives, loving our families, and hopefully taking care of ourselves in whatever matter that means.