Especially during those early postpartum days, I found myself struggling with crushing exhaustion and a roller coaster of emotion. You can read about my experiences postpartum with Finn here. As I made my way through the thick of it, I stumbled upon a few really helpful resources. In the past, women would bear the burden of motherhood together in a village of support. Today, mothers are often left isolated and burdened by the unrealistic expectations of modern society. My hope is that here you’ll be inspired to embrace the difficult if only so that you go easy on yourself. You’re doing an incredible job, Mamas!
Tribe de Mama
Tribe de Mama celebrates a global community of mothers, honouring the importance of supporting one another in motherhood. Prior to becoming a mother myself, I underestimated the importance of supporting mothers. Motherhood is a trial on so many fronts. It takes enormous strength to raise healthy and happy children and yet we easily allow this role to fall into the ordinary, every day when we should be counting all parents, but particularly women extraordinary. I first discovered Tribe de Mama on Instagram, and quickly downloaded the free magazine. It may have been the hormones of those early days, but I found myself tearing up often while delving into the articles.
Birth of a Mother
Recognizing that becoming a mother is a holistically transformative experience, Genevieve Slonim of Birth of a Mama created a booklet offering support to women. You can sign up to receive your booklet at her website, here. I’m wishing I had something like this while I was pregnant — although, mamas could you ever truly anticipate what was to come? Share this with pregnant mamas and let me know if this helps them. Check out @birthofamama on Instagram for other inspiring images and a tribe of women celebrating that moment when a mother is born.
The First Forty Days
This article from Huffington Post beautifully describes the postpartum experience and Heng Ou’s book. For more from Heng Ou, see her blog Mother Bees. The First Forty Days can be purchased here.
Mama, Bare: Birth of the mother
The revised version of Mama, Bare: The Birth of Mother by Kristen Hedges is a delight to behold, with illustrations by Vanja Vukelic. Mama, Bare is a collection of stories from women describing their individual postpartum experience. Inexpressible joy and empowerment exists next to indescribable sorrows, disappointments, heartaches, and doubt. These stories read like a hug from likeminded mamas who reassure you that you’re not alone in the struggles of motherhood. Countless times during the reading of this book I was brought to tears, the kind that involves a blurring of vision in the flood along with raw, emotional sobbing. Foremost among my memories of early postpartum is a time when my doubts and insecurities as a mother plagued me. Which is why reading such raw, vulnerable accounts of mother after mother who shared experiences just like my own has had such a healing effect. Kristen Hedges is on Instagram under @happysleepyfolks and this book can be purchased here.
The Fourth Trimester
The Fourth Trimester is the brainchild of Amy from the U.K. The first months after baby hit her particularly hard and she found herself crying every single day of it. Ruling out depression, doctors instead prescribed her to eat a banana a day, and nothing against bananas, she wanted something more. With her characteristic humour, Amy created The Fourth Trimester as a biannual magazine containing real life accounts of motherhood. This 64-page magazine is also purchasable as a digital copy (for Canadian patrons, such as myself, who find shipping costs and exchange rates prohibitive) contains honest and friendly articles, advice and photography. I’ve come to value those moments that make me feel like I’m not the only one to feel the way I do, especially during those moments when parenting feels most difficult or I’m particularly hard on myself. This magazine helps to combat that with a healthy dose of humour. You can buy your copy here.
The Mother Book
The Mother Book came to me from the U.K. and was brought to my attention through @selfishmother on Instagram. Curator Molly Gunn has brought together accounts of motherhood from bump to teenagers and everything in between. This collection certainly has its tear-jerker moments, but there’s also a great deal of humour — and just real life. While the haze of postpartum and trials of parenting evolve more than they go away, it’s important to celebrate all that there is, and to be sure parenting is WORTH the struggle. If nothing else, this book will make you to feel that you’re not alone and that YOU CAN DO THIS! And that is a worthwhile reminder. The Mother Book is sold here.
Well, there’s my list of some magazines and books I’ve stumbled on. What are some resources you’ve come across that helped you to cope with postpartum and life with baby?