Thursday, January 27, 2011

Read the quote and let it inspire your post: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. -Maya Angelou
So I'm gonna try this writer's workshop thing, and since it's my first time, well that makes me a writer's workshop...

first-timer (what did you think I was gonna say- hehe?).

So here goes:
About 7 years ago, I really thought I might die of drowning. Drowning in my own pool of overwhelmed feelings that come with being a first-time Mom. There is most definitely nothing anyone could have told me to prepare for the loss of identity I would encounter when I became a Mom. Don't get me wrong! Becoming a Mom was also one of the most joyous events of my life.

BUT, since I am no underachiever (sarcasm here), I not only became a first-time Mom, I also quit (almost cold-turkey- LOL) a job that I really liked and felt like I was good at, at the same time. Now while there is something to be said for a "clean break" this was not the time for it! I had effectively cut myself off from all the friends and co-workers I had socialized with and worked with for years. It was a lonely existence!

As I've said before, I've never been one for large groups of friends; I just tend to have one or two close girlfriends at a time. As a new Mom, I went through several awkward friendships, where we were more acquaintances than anything else, but neither of us wanted to give up on possibly developing a friendship.

So anyway, this girl (I'll call her Amy) was another Mom from our Expectant Parents class. My husband and I immediately identified with her and her hubby and that doesn't happen too often. We made plans to keep in touch and update each other on the new babies when they arrived, even though we lived 30 or so miles apart and geting together with newborns wasn't all that convenient.

Long story, short, a few months go by; eventually the girls (babies) both celebrated first birthdays. Amy, her husband, and daughter all came to our birthday party. It was rather odd, but really what wasn't that day? I went ape-nuts over this one-year-old birthday party! Looking back I still wonder what I was thinking...

Ok, back on track here...I continued to talk to Amy by phone and I think most of the time we were able to share stories and advice that helped each other out, at least for adult conversation. One thing I had never mentioned to anyone was how disconnected I felt after Sweet Pea (my daughter) was born. As a matter of fact, I felt so out-of-sorts, that she was at least a year old before I felt "normal" again. Well on one particular day, I happened to mention this to Amy sort of off-handed and jokingly to see if she would agree.

What happened next was just weird; it was one of those silences where you could literally hear a pin drop! She didn't change the subject, she didn't make an excuse to get off the phone, she just didn't say or do anything! I had to ask if she was still there, and eventually I had to end the call.
I did attempt to maintain contact as if this never happened, but pretty soon the "friendship" fizzled.

Amy made me feel like a WHACK-O! Her lack of support, encouragement, oh I don't know, WORDS, seriously made me feel like there was something wrong with me! And you know what, try as I might, I can never shake that feeling! Thank goodness, one really good thing that came from the situation was me being more open with other first-time Moms I knew. I mean I don't think I had post-partum psychosis or anything, but the baby blues don't last for over a year! Post partum depression is real; it is dibilitating (mostly mentally for me, but for some in a physical way as well), and it is something we should not down-play to our friends and families. It's important for all of us as women, wives, and Moms to have support from peers. And real friends would listen and not make us feel like a nut-job when we shared something very personal.

So, I didn't handle that friendship situation with much grace, but I know if the tables were ever turned, I could.

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1 comment:

  1. It's a shame really that she couldn't handle an honest view about a fairly normal event... Lots of moms go through postpartum blues and while some people might ignore it, many get treatment and loving support for it.
    She was either frightened by what she might have been experiencing herself that she couldn't face you talking about it, or her inexperience made her run away.
    Either way, you saved yourself from the time and energy that you would invested in that connection. Good for you to have addressed it openly!
    I'm glad to have stopped by from MamaKat's. I am now following your blog.