Or Things Moms Need to Know. (I couldn’t think of ten!)
Today Yesterday on NPR’s Tell Me More, a segment focused on Lashonda Armstrong, the 25-year-old woman who killed herself and three of her children when she drove off of a bridge. Lashonda had a history of mental illness and the stress of a fight with her husband drove her to suicide. Listening to this segment, my heart broke for Lashonda. She was a new mother, her daughter and youngest was 11 months old. She had three other children, sons aged 2, 5 and 10. The ten-year old was the sole survivor. As her family struggles to make peace with what has happened, I hope that new mothers will realize that help is out there and I also hope that we as a society stop being so darned judgmental! It’s hard being a mother and let’s work together so that our women and children can thrive.
Advice for new and newer moms. Please to note: I am by no means an expert but I think that we can all use words of wisdom every now and again.
1. It’s OK to feel that way.
There are times when parenthood can feel like drowning with no way to get air. There are times when I wanted to scream, kick and throw a major sized tantrum being a mom. I had the feeling but never acted on it.
2. Women of color, get the help you need!
As a Black woman it was often suggested that asking for help is a weakness. I’m here to say there is so shame to reaching out to those who can help. Don’t think that it ‘can’t happen to me’ It can and know where to seek help.
3. Having a baby is a big change.
Change is not negative or positive, it just is. Having a kid is a change in your life. No more can you pop into the car to run out for a quick whatever. No more can you travel without a bunch of crap. It’s an adjustment that took me a while to get used to. I did and you will too.
4. Get your rest.
When The Bee was an infant, people would often tell me to rest up but I always thought that I could do one more thing, try to squeeze in a few pages, something. Uh, no! Get your rest! Sleep when that baby sleeps, nap when that baby naps. If your house is a wreck, it will eventually get clean.
5. Give yourself a break
Let that little one go off to grandmom’s, aunties, whoever. Give yourself some time to catch your breath.
6. Let it go.
Yes, you lost your temper and yelled (or worse) but let it go. Things happen, you’re only human and you’ve learned how to better cope. Don’t allow guilt to make you feel awful for longer than you need.
I often give myself very good advice but I very seldom follow it. It’s hard to let go of the shield of guilt and worry but it’s so much better than allowing it to slowly, slowly drive you crazy.
The segment follows.
What say you people?
*On Wednesday. You know, life, etc