I am a born-and-raised Oklahoma girl, a wife, mommy, and a founding partner of the mommy and me organization, Motherhood Together. My husband is from California, and we met in college at the University of Oklahoma when fate in the form of a baseball scholarship took him there. After graduating, we moved west and spent a few years sowing some wild oats, then got married and had our sweet baby girl Olivia, who is now almost two years old and the love of our lives.
Olivia was born in the early fall, and I always think of the time after she was born in distinct stages. First, there were the first few weeks. I spent this time in the same fog that most new moms do: I was sleep deprived, overwhelmed, amazed, and playing a tug-of-war of emotions between being madly in love/fall-to-my-knees grateful, and fighting off a nagging twinge of depression that I had never experienced before. It wasn’t until I called a close friend sobbing asking what was wrong with me, that I learned that the slight depression was as normal as could be, and would pass in the coming weeks. It did, thank goodness, and then I entered the next stage: LaLa Land. I loved the newborn stage. I didn’t care much that we were waking every few hours through the night, or that I spent most of the day covered in a crusty combination of spit-up and baby poo. We had settled into a nice routine, I was feeling more like myself, and we were getting to know each other and really becoming a family. The holidays arrived and we spent our days showing off our gorgeous daughter to all our various family members, and then traveled to Oklahoma to celebrate Christmas and do more of the same. By all accounts, it was a lovely time.
The next stage was what I think of as The New Normal. January rolled around, the holidays were over, and having finished traveling for the time being, we settled back in at home. We passed our days managing growth spurts, recording milestones, marveling at every new move. Life was still wonderful, but the fog had cleared and I realized that most of my conversations were with a little person who didn’t yet know how to speak, and the rest of them were all about the little person who didn’t yet know how to speak. One evening as I was counting the minutes until my husband would be home so I could have some actual adult interaction, it hit me – I needed friends. Not just friends, I had some fabulous friends who I adored, but specifically I needed mom friends.
Honestly, it wasn’t until I actually found my amazing mom friends that I realized how very much I had needed them. I always considered the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” to be an overused conversation filler, but then I found my “village” and realized it was the piece of the puzzle that had been missing. The camaraderie between moms is something to be treasured. You’ve been pooped on and haven’t slept in two days and started crying because you realized you were out of your favorite breakfast cereal? No one understands that like a fellow mom. You’re dying to get out of the house to have some wine and adult conversation, but it has to be in the window of time after your husband gets home but before you have to pump again? So are your mom friends. They are ready to laugh and cry with you, hold your hand when your baby is sick, or sit in silence with you when you just. need. a minute. They get it. They’re in the thick of it, too, and sometimes you are each other’s lifelines.
This is how the idea for Motherhood Together came to life. There were multiple times in the first year of motherhood that my friends and I would be together and one of us would start talking about how genuinely thankful we are for each other (motherhood tends to make you pretty sappy). We shuddered to think how differently our experiences would have been had we not had each other to hold us up. Sharing the experience of motherhood with fellow moms is a bonding experience like no other. I mean, who else will understand if you whip open your bra, flash your nipple and ask if it looks normal? If you don’t have someone you can show your nipple to, girl, you need some mom friends. We wanted to offer new moms a place to come every week, meet other new moms, and find out what exactly is going to make them thrive in motherhood. At Motherhood Together, we pride ourselves on being “mom-centric”, basing our practice on the belief that taking care of yourself is the best way to take care of your family. The most powerful step a new mom can take is to find her community of mom friends, and we hope to take the work out of it and make the process nothing but fun. Because, as my mom would say, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” And ain’t that the truth?