It didn’t take long for me to seek out like-minded really, really, really tired new moms after I had my first baby. I didn’t do it for the company or the socialization of my child: I did it to have someone to share my new mom war stories with. Because nobody else wanted to hear about the stuff I needed to get off my chest.
After test-driving the openness of moms at all the local outdoor parks, indoor parks, baby yoga classes, mommy and me classes, and ice cream shops, I assembled a motley crew of fellow moms ready and willing to gather on a regular basis. Their brutally honest stories and genuine interest in my own terrifying tales were my favorite traits of theirs. Here are a handful of the things we’d share with each other over coffee, fruit plates, and the hum of breast pumps:
1. Every single gory detail of their childbirth experience, including the vast quantity of things that spilled out of their honey pots and why they decided that day to hand-make voodoo dolls of particularly unhelpful nurses or relatives.
2. The shape, size, and color of their nipples.
3. The shape, color, size, speed, smell, and frequency of their baby’s poop.
4. What sex was like after pushing a person out of that thing.
5. Which doctors at the pediatric offices were literally the worst.
6. That they hadn’t showered in maybe a week? Or so?
7. That the baby peed on their bed again.
8. That they peed on their bed again.
9. Which neighbors they could see doing it in the living room through a window while out walking a restless baby at 3 a.m.
10. Stats from the spreadsheet they’ve been keeping since birth that chart the baby’s peeing, pooping, eating, and sleeping.
11. How they really feel. Not how they tell their husbands and neighbors and in-laws they feel, how they actually, truly feel (spoiler alert: it ain’t pretty).
Knowing I wasn’t alone with my purple swollen lady parts (or sleepless delirium that made me forget my husband’s name more than once) made me feel connected. Seeing the moms whose babies were a little older than mine—even if just by a month—finally hit milestones, like showering regularly and being able to look at raw chicken again without rage, gave me hope.
Sure, most people don’t want to discuss topics like episiotomy scars, cracked nipples, or bladders that have given up, but the ones that do have a way of healing the moms around her. Like me. And I wouldn’t have traded those meetings of oversharing for anything in the world. Okay, maybe I would have in exchange for a baby that actually slept through the night at least once in the first six months, but that’s just crazy talk.
More Mom Truths:
- VIDEOS: Things Only Moms Know
- Stop the Bottle Shaming: Why it’s OK Not to Breastfeed
- 7 Things You Get Sh*t for When You Have a New Baby