“We’re supposed to be nurtured for months postpartum, cared for when we’re sick, held while we mourn, and supported during challenging transitions.” Beth Berry
Let’s be honest – having a baby is one of the most challenging transitions if not the most challenging transition one can have in their life. Yet, most of us think we have to do it alone.
Some of us are lucky to have a village – lucky to be surrounded by caring moms, grandmas, aunts, and friends who have been there before and who get it. You know, those amazing people who will think nothing of washing your sheets and emptying your dishwasher while you feed your sweet babe or get a moment of peace.
I remember the sweetest gift I received when Ms M was born was a care package of: dinner, fresh bread, homemade cookies, a pound of my favourite coffee, 3 magazines, and an activity to occupy Ms. G. The gift wasn’t particularly fancy or expensive but to this day it remains the best gift I received. (thanks Hannah!)
Why? It was thoughtful and personal and took care of me in a way that I needed most at the time. This person is in my village. She knows.
If you have these people in your life: cherish them! Hold them close! And for god’s sake return the kindness when they need the support.
But most of us don’t have a village and if we do – it’s not very robust and they are busy doing their own thing. So what can we do? How do we fill these gaps?
Beth Berry has some insights in her article: In the Absence of the Village, Mothers Struggle Most
She talks about 9 tangible steps you can take to start to build your village.
I propose a 10th: The Postpartum Doula. Is that the solution to all your ‘lack of village’ problems? No. But, it’s a start and maybe it’s enough to relieve some of the pressure off of you and re-energize you to find your people. Maybe hiring a postpartum doula is enough to help you honour your needs, learn self-compassion, and own your strengths.
I know you can do this mama. But you don’t have to do it alone.