Just because she lives on a lavish estate, travels the world on a private jumbo jet, is married to royalty, and has bumped elbows with Hollywood’s finest, does not mean she is exempt from pain, suffering, and overwhelm.
Whether we are rich or poor, famous or unknown, black or white, accomplished or unversed, all mothers need—and deserve—to be heard and supported.
In the recent ITV documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, the Duchess of Sussex made candid remarks about her life as a new mom and wife, including the negative impacts the brutal press has had on her well-being.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable,” said Meghan. “So that was made really challenging. And when you have a newborn… it’s a lot. You add this on top of being a new mom or trying to be a newlywed.”
After the conversation, Meghan thanked the interviewer for asking if she’s OK, stating, “Not many people have asked if I’m OK.” But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
When questioned further if it “would be fair” to say that she’s “not really OK, as in it’s really been a struggle.”
Meghan responded, “Yes.”
My heart sank to the pit of my stomach as I watched what appeared to be a thriving, beautiful mother holding back tears.
Like Meghan, so many mothers across the world, yes, even those who appear to be living “perfect” lives, are suffering in silence.
I know I’ve said it once, almost sure I’ve said it twice, and I’ll keep clamoring on until all moms feel adequately seen and supported:
We. Need. To. Get. Better. At. Supporting. New. Mothers.
Even more so in this new day and age where the villages, who once supported new moms and helped in child rearing, are dwindling.
This new day where ruthless trolls are out in full force ready to trample a mother down for anything she does or does not do, chooses to say or not say, or any other thing that may or may not flow in mainstream motherhood.
It is hard as hell being a mom in the new millennium.
I’m sending out an SOS to the universe: New Moms Are Not Okay.
So be that person.
Be that person who asks a mom how she is doing. And mean it.
Be that person who listens to her body language and the emotional cues when she says, “I’m okay.”
Be that person who probes further: “Are you sure you’re okay, mama?”
Be that person who embraces her when the tears fall.
Be that person who lends an ear when she finds her words.
Be that person who supports her when she admits she’s not okay.
Be that person who helps her to find exactly what she needs.
Be that person who continues to stand with her when motherhood is too much to handle.
Be that person who doesn’t shy away from helping other moms.
Be that person you needed when you just started out on your motherhood journey.
Because, my friends, new moms are drowning.
They are trying to do it all.
They are trying to master it all.
They are trying to be the best in everything.
Learning the motherhood ropes while running on minimal sleep and a flood of hormones.
New moms are not okay.
When friends and family help new mothers better handle stress, this has been proven to help moms view their children in a more positive way.
A study by Loyola University of Chicago evaluated the relationship between social support available to the mother and maternal behaviors and attitudes. They discovered that “mothers who gained the support of people they trusted had higher self-esteem, confidence as a parent, and struggled less to access information that helped them problem-solve for their little one.”
So, be that person.
Because that new mom could really use a lifeline.