Being a parent sometimes feels like being an island. There is an ever present fear of messing your child up. In the moments you are in public and your child manages to do the embarrassing, it can be isolating when all judgmental eyes roll your direction. Or when you feel an emotional wreak the first days back to work away from your baby. It is hard in these situations to remember there are other people who have been there too.
I put up a quick Facebook post with pictures of the boys before returning to work last week. In the post I mentioned I’d be going back to work the next day. A few other moms commented back saying they would be thinking of me or expressing empathy as they had been there too.
It is the moments when another parent reaches out to say “I’ve been there” that feels like a life raft. The reassurance that another parent can say “me too” creates community. As a parent, it helps to have that commonality – to know we are not the only ones who have had that experience.
The first week back to work was rough. I missed my babies terribly. There were fun moments at work. The pull to be with my little one feels deeply instinctual. Getting reminders from other parents who have been there too helped pass the work days.
To all the parents out there, I encourage you to look out for each other. Let that struggling mom or dad know they are not alone. Let’s merge the islands of parents to create a parenthood Pangea.