If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I struggled in the postpartum period.
I mean. I really struggled.
And, being an overtime mom, I had a lot of time alone with my kids. That was hard, but at least my husband was home during the nights when the thoughts got their scariest.
Until he had to go on a work trip.
Enter my panic.
I really, honestly, did not think I could handle the night alone. I didn’t know what to do. So, even though I knew it would be expensive, I decided to hire a postpartum doula. Of course, I couldn’t just hire anyone. As terrified as I was of myself and my thoughts, I was also afraid to let a stranger into my house. So, what could I do?
I turned to a Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook of all places, and asked the admin to anonymously ask for recommendations on my behalf. I was ashamed to admit that I needed the help, but I really needed it.
The support poured in. I had people offering recommendations for postpartum doulas. Someone else offered to start a meal train. More women asked for me to PM them, so they could just be someone to listen. These women kept checking in on me through the week. Another woman started a new Facebook group for moms in the same boat. We started having playdates and moms’ nights out. This group later became my tribe.
And then, right when I thought I couldn’t be more grateful, someone offered up a gift certificate for a night with a postpartum doula. I was in tears.
I had never met any of these women before. They had simply seen another mama in pain and been moved to help.
A lot of people talk about how awful women — especially moms — can be to one another online. But in the entire thread, there wasn’t a single “mean girl.” I experienced compassion, support, and kindness. I know the mommy wars still exist, but this experience has taught me that there is far more light out there than darkness. That people — especially other mamas — are inherently good. That when I am hurting, I don’t need to look far to find a village. I have one. Facebook gave it to me.