Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sophie turned 4 this month and I have been knee deep in party prep all week. This post has been on my mind since Sophie’s birthday and now with her party fast approaching, I find myself grappling with bittersweet nostalgia. Like most parents, I struggle with each birthday because like, where has the time gone?

Sophie and I have a very special birthday tradition: every year, on her birthday, I tell her the story of her birth. This year, half way through the story she got up and said, “ok bye mom”. Of course my initial reaction was to feel completely crushed and heartbroken, but I got over it and instead reminisced with Regan.

The day I became a mother is one I will never forget. I may forget what Regan wore, or what my doctor’s name was and the pain of labor might dull with time but I will never forget the immense spectrum of emotion I experienced. That moment when you first hold your precious little baby is (for lack of a better word) completely overpowering. The joy, love, relief, exhaustion, panic, fear, happiness and love (yes, again) you feel is unforgettable. A few days will pass and then a new feeling will set in, I don’t know how to describe this new feeling, but for me, perhaps “sisterhood” would be a good starting point. You see, when you are a mom, you are many things, but one thing that remains constant is that you now belong to the biggest, strongest, most lit and most fierce tribe in existence.

But this sense of belonging isn’t enough, with it comes a very base need to reach out to other moms… To share stories of your journey, to have hour long discussions about the colour of your child’s poo, to compare notes on breastfeeding and recipes for jungle juice, to simply share and connect. This connection we share can, in our happiest moments, feel like a warm hug on a frigid winters day, and when days are dark (as they often are in motherhood), we have the power to be each other’s lifeline. When we share our strength and resolve, huge things can happen.

You don’t need me to remind you that there are many, many, many moms across our great country that enter into this colossal journey all alone. There is no partner to lovingly squeeze their hand during labor or share that knowing  “look what we’ve made” glance. There are no bunches of flowers decorating their hospital room or nappy cakes or congratulatory hugs from loved ones. They are alone. And many are alone and afraid. Afraid, perhaps because as wonderful as motherhood is, it is also the beginning of a life of worry and stress and expectation that in those early hours, can feel impossible to meet. You know that wonderful connection I was just talking about, that awesome tribe? Well, you have the opportunity to welcome a new mom into that tribe in person by taking part in a nationwide event that could literally change a new moms life.

If you had the opportunity to change someone’s life, would you take it?

Julie Mentor has founded an amazing organization aimed at reestablishing the sisterhood of mothers and this Mother’s Day, her organization, Cape Town Embrace, will be hosting a really incredible event. Moms in Cape Town, Joburg and Durban are being asked to sit with a new mom and connect, share and welcome this new mom to our very incredible sisterhood. Not a huge ask right?

If you need extra convincing, just watch this video of Julie talking about this special event: 

Let's recap: Make the choice to spend one hour of your day on Mother's Day at the maternity ward at your nearest public hospital. Talk to new moms, hold their hands, offer them words of encouragement, share your joys and hardships, tell them it's going to be ok. They need to hear it. 

If you’d like to find out more about Cape Town Embrace and the Mother’s Day Connect events, visit their website here >
Or sign up for the event on Facebook here >

Mandy said it best: “Imagine women gathering at every public birthing facility with the sole purpose of reclaiming Mother’s Day as a day for ALL mothers, starting with our country’s newest moms. Imagine a day of respectful celebration and gentle affirmation and the heavenly scent of a brand new baby.”


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