A guest post from a sister-in-law who felt left out and like she lost her emotionally and physically once she became pregnant and during the first year of her child’s life.
It’s so exciting… first you find out that yes, indeed, you are pregnant! Ohmagosh wow!!! This could literally be the most exciting thing that has EVER happened to you. Yet, social custom suggests that you keep it hush hush…. for at least three months or more. Revealing privately with your partner or by yourself (whatever your case may be), naturally isolates you emotionally from the rest of the word. Because, you’re in our OWN little world (of two!), or more.
Try to Remember Your Friends and Family, Mama. We’re Feeling Left Out.
We want to be a part of it! We want to support you! And, we can be great babysitters after you get settled in. Don’t ignore or isolate us. Let us know the details! We don’t mind and actually enjoy learning about the process you are going through. What did the doctor say? When do you go back? Many moms think that non-parent friends and family don’t want to know the intricacies, but we truly feel left out when we don’t hear from you…. Let us in! We’re here for you.
What Pregnancy and New Motherhood Looks and Feels Like To Your Friends and Family
It looks like a freaking mystery. Like what is going on in there and over there? When my sister-in-law told me she was pregnant, I felt depressed and happy at the same time. I was so happy that she was going to be a great mom, and yet at the same time, I saw the “death” of my sister-in-law as my friend. We would never be able to take that girls trip we talked about. We wouldn’t be on the same page again. I wouldn’t be seeing her ever again the same way. Sadly, I know this sounds so selfish, but it was just my natural feelings. Then, I stopped hearing from her. I didn’t get nearly as many phone calls, then none at all.
She stopped talking to me about the pregnancy near the end of it too. Like she had mastered it and didn’t need me anymore.
Once the baby came, it was even less communication. I was overjoyed to meet my nephew through FaceTime (and now that’s the only way we talk, while we watch the baby), but I missed our one-on-one talks. And, I really missed my sister-in-law. I still do. Now, everything centers around the baby. My sister-in-law is two people, her and the baby. And, that is what they say motherhood feels like. I think it’s totally okay to have mixed feelings when a baby comes into your family. It changes things and sometimes change takes a minute to get used to. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.
What Can You Do To Feel More Included In Your Favorite New Mom’s Life?
Ask about the baby for gosh sakes! It’s their whole life! Try to get involved by asking continuously about the baby. Ask mom how she is doing too. Ask her if there’s anything you can do. Also, call, call, call, text, text, text. New moms literally have their hands full. They are distracted, tired, and zombie-like oftentimes in the first year. Cut them some slack and keep trying if they don’t return your calls or texts.
Long story short, don’t take it personally. And, on the flip side, moms…. don’t shut us out! We miss you! I know it’s hard to see it, but you’re withdrawn into your world, and we truly miss your presence. On your end, a text or picture can go a long way too. Let’s try to love each other and embrace the change! It can make everyone’s bond stronger and deeper. Thanks for listening!
A sister who misses her sister and loves her nephew too.
If you are resonating, as a new mom or as someone who has been through a similar experience, many times just having a neutral ear to vent to can make all the difference.