By Stacey Figg, Volunteer Extraordinaire
This past June I decided that it was my time to give back, to really come full circle in my journey as a mom. Since hearing about the MomsBloom organization several years ago, I have always wanted to become a volunteer to help other mothers in the community. However, I had to wait until it was the right time for my family and me. I’ve “worked” in a number of capacities over the last 5 years that revolve around women’s health and motherhood. This has really become a true passion of mine especially since fighting thru postpartum issues with my firstborn.
I understood the mission behind MomsBloom as well as their vision, but what I didn’t know was how my experience as a volunteer was going to affect me as a person. Going thru the training process triggered a number of emotions within me as I reflected back on the first few months after both my children were born. Back then, the emotions were fierce and the struggle was real. Shortly after the training my journey began.
I have to say that my volunteer experience thus far has exceeded all of my expectations. I’ve given countless talks at institutions, conferences, and support groups, but nothing could have prepared me for the emotion I felt and the bond that was created once I met the family. It was so fulfilling to feel that immediate connection with another mom and I could tell it brought some relief to her as well.
The mom I am working with had given birth to a beautiful baby boy this January. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone as expected and her experience as a new mom has been anything but textbook. She has struggled in a number of ways, most of which I could relate to and some I could not. We shared stories as well as our struggles and when my time was up we shared a long hug. I made a promise to her (and her husband) I would come every week for as long as I could until we found the light at the end of the tunnel.
Thru this short interaction I learned, once again, that giving someone hope when all hope is gone, is priceless. With each experience, I could feel myself channeling my inner strength her way while guiding her thru the dark tunnel. I have taken great pride in watching her progress. Along with hope, I was also able to provide her with a sense of “normalcy” that we sometimes lack as mothers. It’s normal and ok to be in your pajamas, not shower for days and slack on every household chore known to man. In my opinion, motherhood is one of the most selfless acts you will encounter in life. And sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves, constantly second guessing our parenting decisions and are so quick to judge when things don’t go as planned.
Taking care of a small baby, trying to take care of you and finding the fine line in between is a daily struggle for most moms especially in those early days. I’ve come to learn that I’m supporting more than just a new mom but a blossoming family of 3 that is trying to find their new norm. That means not just taking care of mom and baby but also supporting the father as well.
The family is so grateful for my time and the resources I’ve been able to provide as they transition into parenthood for the first time. We all know this task can be rather daunting especially when it doesn’t meet our society’s inflated expectations. As I drove away that day, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be, I could feel it in every sense of the word.
Parenthood is challenging especially as we learn to balance our life with that of a little one, a little one that is completely dependent upon us. No one tells us how hard it may be or what to really expect. Everyone’s journey is different from conception, to pregnancy, all the way thru labor and delivery. We each have a different experience none of which are exactly alike. I know I can’t save every family from the demons and dread of postpartum or make motherhood easier at the snap of my fingers. But as mothers, we can lock arms and walk side by side thru this journey together, upholding one another. Along with MomsBloom, I want to create a voice, a sounding board, and a place free from judgment where we can openly share our triumphs and supposed failures. After all, it takes a village, so lets create one!
About the author:
Stacey and her husband, John, are the quintessential, proud parents of two…Riley (5) and Rowan (3). She’s worked full time inside and outside of the home and just about every where in between. Stacey will openly tell you that it’s much easier to go to work every morning than manage a house full of little people.
After suffering from severe postpartum issues (due to PMD), Stacey has made it her mission to inspire other moms by sharing her journey. It’s not just her story that she aims to spread, but also honesty about motherhood and the parenting profession in a non judgmental capacity.