“And when the sky that we look upon
Should crumble and fall,
And the mountain should crumble to the sea.
I won’t be afraid, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me.”
Ben E. King
When I decided to become a mother, I had no idea that there would be so much more to it than just becoming someones mom. I knew that I wanted to love, raise and nurture someone, and create good humans to put out into the world. I knew I had so, so much to give, and I wanted a little piece of my husband and I to do that with. What I didn’t realize is how much it would change me as a person, right down to my core. I wasn’t prepared for the extreme shift in values, morals, ethics I would endure, or how much better I wanted our world to become, so my children would have a better future. And how much this meant engaging with other parents, not only to try to educate or let them know a different perspective but to also lean on, receive advice from, and discuss ideas and theories with people going through the same things I was going experiencing. What came from these relationships was something even more shocking and truly amazing that developed – the undeniable connection you have with other mothers, for no other reason that you are both mothers yourselves. I couldn’t fathom how much I would become an empathetic, loving, nurturing person to all others who surrounded me, and not just to my children. I never knew of the unspoken, underlying bond I would feel with the other mothers I came in contact with. The relationships I have developed started as complete strangers, and now we have now become our own tribe. I celebrate their achievements in my mind, experience their struggles in my heart, and feel their sorrows in my soul.
With whom else in the world do you share the same hopes, dreams, and triumphs? Who else can you complain to about sleepless nights, developmental milestones, changes in poop patterns, and snack suggestions, and know that they completely, undoubtedly understand what you’re going through? Who else knows the gut wrenching ache of seeing their child in pain and feeling hopeless, or the pure ecstatic joy of seeing your hard work come to fruition when they start to walk, talk, eat or do any other amazing feat that only we can understand the excitement of? Yes, we have our partners and yes, of course they get it. But there is just something special and unequal to how much a mother loves and cares for her child, that bonds us all together.
And sometimes, unfortunately, the connection is felt so much more because of something awful that happens. In these times I had no idea how much I could cry for someone, ache for their sorrow, hope for their pain to end, and pray for their healing. Not because of the good times we had together, or memories we had made as friends through the fun times. This was because when you become a mother there is something so much deeper inside of you that connects you to another mom. You have felt such fierce and unbreakable love for your own children that you can finally ‘get it’ when someone has pain that is associated with their own child. Before I had children of course I experienced hurt and sorrow for others, but this was so different. It’s an actual feeling in your chest, in your stomach, in your heart; an ache that you feel so helpless about and wish you could take it all away for them – almost as if you are a mother to the person who is pain themselves.
It’s times that are hard like this that you truly realize how strong our connection is. I needed to write about it, because in the moments when you feel so hopeless you just want to try anything to get the message across that you are not alone, and we are all here. We will never begin to be able to understand your pain, but will do every single thing in our power to help you heal from it. Behind every mother there is usually a tribe of women behind her that have her back. And if there is anyone out there is reading this and feels alone? Please, please, and I mean this with every fiber of my being – hit me up. With your venting, questions, concerns, or even if you want to chat. It takes a village, and I am here for you. I’m not gonna lie, it might take a minute or 60 for me to respond, and if you wanna hang you’ll have to also sign up for coffee, cuddles and possible gassy giggles from my boys. But through thick and thin, I’ll accept you at your strongest and hold you up at your weakest. Because we are mothers, and that is what we do.
~ Dedicated in loving memory to Elena Janice Hamm~