And while in my work I like to celebrate my recovery and journey from Postpartum Depression to Joy, in this post I’m going to take a break from the heroic and take pride in the invisible. I would like us to shine the light of our attention on the stuff that goes under the radar. Here goes:
Everybody takes it for granted, even us, mamas. All moms do that.
Do we pat ourselves on the back every time we put away the mountains of laundry? Or every time we kiss a booboo, 0r wipe a snotty nose? Every time we feel a forehead and know what the thermometer would have to say before we use it? Every time we put a meal on the table? Every time we clear that table, and that kitchen, after that meal? And the gazzilions of meals before and after?
We don’t, because we do these things so often that they become invisible.
Nobody counts these feats of devotion and nobody pays us for them. What’s even more annoying to me is that nobody would hire us, or give us a promotion, or tenure, or a raise, for the essential, valuable, indispensable work we do.
But these invisible, often boring, thankless tasks are what makes a family work. Without our endless, thankless, tiring work (don’t you call me tireless, I’m exhausted much too often) my family will break down, and the moments of joy that make a family happy would never be possible.
I want it to be counted because it does count. I don’t really care if it’s computed towards the DGP (it’s not), but I want us to not forget that the economic structure of the world will crumble without the unpaid, unrecognized, uncelebrated work of mothers.
So I created an online safe space for us mamas. Because I need other mothers to feel safe enough to ask for support when everything feels like too much. With other mothers I get to sob if I need to, and have my tears honored. I get love and support from others who know exactly how I feel, and because we are all carrying the most precious boulders on our shoulders, we know. We know. We know what it feels like to be depleted by giving giving giving and not having our work seen. So I created a structure that I call Mamas Comfort Camp Facebook Refueling Station. It’s a private Facebook group, where only the members can see who is posting and read the posts. Some of my favorite mommy bloggers have agreed to step up to the role of Den Mothers (and I will dedicate my next post to this wonderful bunch). In the group we have mothers from as far as Australia, Brazil, Israel, and France, lots of US mamas and lots of Canadians, as well as some mamas I know right here in Ithaca. It’s a thing of beauty, and comfort, and yes, pride too.
You are welcome to join us. Like my local (to Ithaca NY) Mama’s Comfort Camp class, the group is not specifically about postpartum depression (it may be mentioned, but it’s not the main subject), it’s about recognition of our efforts and our worth, practicing self-kindness and self -care without “should”s. Since the group is a secret group (no one but members can read posts or see who the other members are), the link to ask to join the group doesn’t work (yep, facebook is smart like that). I am only adding people who actually tell me they want to join.
Want in? Go to https://www.facebook.com/mamas.comfort.camp
“Like” the page, and then tell me (in a comment on the page) that you want to be added to the group! I am not assuming that everybody who “like”s the page wants to be added to the group, because it’s not always the case.
Now go say hello on Charity’s blog and read the other posts in the Mother’s Pride Carnival. They rock.