There are days when the house is a mess, there's no food in the fridge and I haven't slept in what feels like a decade.
There are days when breastfeeding has hit headlines, and not in a good way. Days when the radio tells me of cuts to maternity services and hikes in the number of moms dealing with postpartum depression.
Some days, it all just feels a little... short on hope?
And then I open my mailbox, and there waiting for me is a shiny, golden letter. OK, maybe not quite a shiny and golden letter, but certainly a heartfelt and honest email.
These emails tell me stories. Stories of moms just like me. Stories of messy houses and sunken hearts. Stories of bodies that have grown and shrunk and grown again.
These are the stories of motherhood, and I am honored to receive them. But why do we share them? That's easy -- we share to celebrate and empower one another.
We need to hear about the moms who triumph in the face of limited support, because it gives us the determination to ignore the haters and reach out with support to the mom struggling beside us.
We need to hear about the moms who juggle breastfeeding and work, because it reminds us that there is no single way of breastfeeding. Knowing that there are other moms out there, carrying their breast pumps alongside their laptops, reassures us that we are not alone.
And yes, we need to hear about the moms nursing older babies and toddlers, because hearing these stories makes this path feel so much more accessible to the mom about to take her first steps along it.
Because we live in a world where stories are abundant. But so often they are negative, or bookmarked for "later." We need these real snapshots of life here on the ground... where motherhood is a label we wear with pride, alongside the spaghetti stains and muddy footprints, of course.
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This post originally appeared on Mama Bean Parenting.