Sunday, December 9, 2007

Lost in a sea of questions

If a mother who is running wild into the woods is screaming can you hear her?

And, if you do, do you ignore her, tossing her off as a weak woman, some mad, crazy witch of a woman?

Or, better yet, do you watch as she loses her mind, thinking rationally that she chose this life, that she made her bed ... but keep your distance? After all, no one helped you, right? You did it on your own, right? She'll manage. That'll teach her to want kids, to want a family.

It could be that you've forgotten how tiring it can be, those early days. And, in hindsight -- always in hindsight -- it seemed so easy back then, when they were little.

Or, do you remember and run after her, offering her a warm blanket and some hot tea? Maybe send her a note in the mail telling her she's done a great job this week.

I'm just wondering. What you would do?

Because there are plenty of mothers running and screaming every day, but so many are ignored, except for the ones that go screaming toward you with all their might, leaving you no doubt that you must help them, and now.

But, what about the rest?

I can't help wonder why their silent screams go unheard and unanswered.

Thank you for visiting today.

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Michelle (the beartwinsmom) said...

I'd chase her down, and offer her a cup of tea, a warm blanket, and a listening ear. Most important, I would let her know that someone cares.

As mothers, we are constantly giving of ourselves and we don't remember to take care of ourselves. When we do try to take that time for ourselves, some of us feel selfish (I know I do).

If we don't support each other, what kind of mothers will we be for our kids?

InTheFastLane said...

So many time mothers don't express that they need help until they are almost at the edge. We think we have to do it all on our own. Women need to know it is ok to ask and ask early.

marta said...

My mother attempted suicide and got electric shock treatment. And she was the best mother in the world. Brilliant and amazing. I'd offer any screaming mother a cup of coffee and tell her how much her children will love her for the rest of their lives. Really.

bella said...

Oh Shawn, you have touched upon something so important and overlooked. thank-you for giving this voice.
I sometimes run after them, sometimes let them no that when they need me, I'm here. Mostly I seek to let them know that I SEE. I can't make it all better or come move in. and go knows I'm often the one running screaming my head off. So I say, I see you and me and us. We are not alone.

village mama said...

My second child was colicky for the first twelve months of her life. The best thing other mothers did for me was hold her. When I'd see her in someone else's arms, I could see her as a baby, and not the piercing non-stop burden it felt like.

One time, a local baker (mom of two teenagers) stopped her car next to where I was pushing the stroller and casually asked how I was. I was at the start of a long walk on a day that was going terribly wrong. She listnened with wide caring eyes, offered her boys as babysitters, and before driving off let me peek into her delivery box so that I could chose from a scone & cookie order.

Recently I saw an acquaintance mom discipline her son, in such a caring gentle way. It was very touching because given the situation, nobody was going to judge her for having screamed her head off in worry. The next day I showed up at her house with a prize ribbon that read 'great job' and a box of baby wipes. I told her I'd see her in action and I thought she was doing a GREAT job.

I also dropped off a fancy chocolate bar in another mom's mailbox. I knew she was weaning her last child, was tired, and mostly she loves chocolate.

I think a secret admirer note in the mail/mailbox and a starbucks coffee card would go a l-o-n-g, looong way.

I call this stage of my life post partum adjustment - I'm not depressed, just learning how to parent without resentment given that my needs always come last.

LauraC said...

This resonates with me as my best friend just had a baby two weeks ago. I call her every few days because I need to hear her voice to know she is really ok. And I hope she knows the moment she starts to feel not-ok, she should call me.

I've had the silent screaming moments all too often. And I did not do any of this mothering on my own, I needed the help of almost everyone I've met to be a parent.

Anonymous said...

I will say good morning, Shawn.

Shannon said...

I will run screaming with her, so she knows she's not alone.

storyteller said...

The kettle's on ... want to join me in a cup of tea? I've got some lovely ginger cookies too :)
Hugs and blessings,

Candace & Anna said...

I agree that we are all running and screaming at some point in our journeys as Mommy! Some days I just want to throw my hands in the air and say what in the world was I thinking! None of us are alone and we all need to remember that!

RocketMom said...

I probably would realize that I have been running off into the wild screaming myself - how else could I have seen her? And then, noticing that I am tired, I might call out to see if she would like to share some hot cocoa and conversation.

I like all the other ideas and responses here, though. You have beautiful readers.

Shelli said...

Let's pitch a tent and roast some marshmallows! And Dada can stay home with baby for a few days.

Shelli said...

Let's pitch a tent and roast some marshmallows! And Dada can stay home with baby for a few days.

Shawn said...

Yes, I do have a bunch of compassionate readers. Thank you, everyone, for your voices today and for hearing the screams. I imagine a village of all of us, supporting and sustaining each other. It is bliss.

I am not alone. You are not alone. A note. A card. A coffee. Tea. All of it would be welcomed by any mom, I'm sure. Let's all reach out to one this week!

Mama Zen said...

Such a great post!

Most of us are reluctant to ask for help (I know that I was). I guess that the best thing that we can do is remember that silent screams are still screams and try to be there for one another.