At it’s core this project is about helping mom’s feel normal. Many new moms are so unprepared for motherhood that they are blindsided by their experience. Caring for newborns is deeply demanding. Becoming a mother also means a significant identity shift that can be accompanied by some emotional ups and downs.
For those of you with a new baby in arms you may be wondering how things will go this winter. If you are in the Northeast, like we are, you are probably crossing your fingers that this mild weather will continue and that you will not be shut in your house for the next four months.
Imagine that you lived generations ago, when families lived more communally than we do today. Or in another culture that still lives communally today. Your baby is born and your mother, sister, and aunt are there with you for weeks, months, or even longer afterwards. In those early days, they take care of the cooking, cleaning, and caring for other children. You have been around when they breastfed their babies and you have a blueprint for doing the same thing with yours.
Today I want to talk about the power of silence over our wellness. To start I want to reflect on the first outing with my daughter when she was a newborn. She was probably 2-3 weeks old and I went with Taylor (NMP co-founder) to a Birth Network Central New York meeting. It couldn’t have been a better setting to take a newborn. It was a small group of mothers discussing birth advocacy in our area. If anyone would help me brave this first outing it would be this group. I was anxious about my first adventure as a mom.
As a mental health counselor I often find myself trying to elicit information from clients about their wellness. I’ve found over the years that just asking a general “how are you doing?” Doesn’t really get me much information. There are some folks who are open books, and can’t help but give a genuine in-depth answer to this question, but most people respond in brief. New mothers are no exception.
When summer hits I instantly feel a shift in my psyche. I think outdoor concerts, barbecues, dinner al fresco, hiking, and beach days. When I had my daughter I really wanted to continue doing all the fun summer things we like, but at the same time I was nervous about taking a newborn out and about in the heat and sun of the summer.