In our rugged-American-Lone-Ranger kind of way, it’s tempting to reject the suggestion that we need any kind of help with anything at all—especially caring for a newborn. Moms and dads have been having and caring for their little ones since, well, the beginning of time. Our mothers and grandmas toughed it out didn’t they? When did bringing baby home become so body-spirit-mind-boggling?
Listen, here’s a little secret. Over the last thirty or forty years, when we weren’t looking, American culture has changed a wee bit. Moms today are every bit as competent and baby-ready as they ever were, but there’s been some significant shifting in the traditional support systems. Back in the good old days, neighbors watched one anothers' kids, sisters and moms lived close, church ladies brought the casseroles and pies, and life had a bent towards the communal.
For most of us, it’s a little different today. Your own mom lives in California or still works full time, sisters are cross-country or trying to bring up their own kids. Neighbors? Who knows their neighbors anymore?
Leaving the hospital can feel like getting kicked out onto the pavement--and with a helpless little creature in your arms you're expected to not only feed, care for, and keep alive, but now it’s also your job to make this child thrive—which by today’s standards means acceptance to the best preschool, National Merit scholarship, athletic superstardom…
Getting help isn’t giving up. It’s utilizing the same support our foremothers had available to them in the form of family, neighbors, and church ladies. Your mom didn’t talk about all the help she was receiving because that was a part of the culture—just the way things were done. Today we have to be a little more intentional about our mom-needs. But this isn’t only a service you do unto yourself—you are also giving a voice to the other expectant or new moms who are facing this transition in isolation, and even terror, just trying to make the world believe they not only have it all together, but that it’s that blissful, Disneyland experience everyone promised it would be.
You can be the first to stand up against the trend of Lone Ranger mommies. Getting support supports the sisterhood.