This year I have seen a beautiful trend in shows like This Is Us and Black-ish when it comes to issues like miscarriage and postpartum depression. Real struggles that happen to so many families. To so many mothers.
These are episodes that require a box of tissues. They trigger emotions and memories for my husband and me. If this loss had just happened to your family, I might caution you to save these stories for a time when you can process raw feelings with a bit more reflective self-compassion.
The thing that is both painful and helpful is the conversations we have during and after these shows. Sometimes it is just a look my husband gives me as he sees my eyes full of tears.
I still feel our very late-term loss of our first daughter back in 2003. It was a birth and a death with no congratulations or flowers. Very few knew what to say, how to react. As a new couple together we had to bond super quickly as not to let the pain and loss over take us. We became stronger and then weaker with every other loss.
After almost 10 years, we finally welcomed our Ella. She healed almost all the cracks in our hearts.
Six years on now, we have a first grader in an amazing inclusive learning school. We are an active part of this community. I have the great fortune of being able to give time, volunteering for room parent and hot lunch. This may change as we grow but right now it is amazing.
I have a fellow mom that I see at school pick-up. I smile and check-in as we do. Last week she wrinkled up her face and asked me with a skeptical tone “Are you ALWAYS this happy?” I told her the truth, which was that she and I met where I am the happiest, which is being with my girl, being her mom.
There will always be eye-rollers who think we are too engaged, too involved, too happy, share too much. I have felt the disdain from some whom I thought were friends, even other parents, when I post pictures on social media and share and even write as a blogger mom. There are so many judgements and made up rules that come on the heels of what we look like to others. Some of us choose to not get trapped by the term “That Parent.”
I can not nor would I want to level these holders of silly high internet standards by actually taking them back into my real past pain. I can only say that the struggle has made this current time all the sweeter. Not one day, even the tough ones as a mom, is taken for granted and I share it all.
Luckily as an older Mom the sometimes slings and arrows that come from those who feel threatened or feel outdone in some way fall off me. I have grown bold by living through sorrow and I have earned this shield.
Some of us have stories of survival and finding joy that can help others in need right now.
Now as parents we watch these stories being played out in film and television. Art is bold and does often imitate life.
I am aware that the struggles and happiness I share here and in my daily online life as a mom may not entertain or always be welcomed by all but they will by some of us.