Last Saturday, I had the most enriching experience among mommies like me, an experience that assured me that I’m not alone in this profession called motherhood. I attended the Pod’s mommy meet-up organized by my friend Alex Hao. It’s for free, and she even serves snacks afterward. Actually, she doesn’t have to do this, but I’m just so inspired with Alex’s intention to bring mommies together and learn from each other. So mommies bring their cute little babies and enjoy talking about breast-feeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, baby bump painting, or anything under the sun.
For me, it’s a venue to just be a support group to any mom out there in need of a listening ear, a helping hand, and an appreciative comment. For others, it’s a venue to express their creativity (one mom shared that she makes hand casting for keepsakes). I think we all mommies need that. At the end of the day, we just need appreciation for all the “hard” work we do around the house, and though it’s tough, we love it, and we give of ourselves selfishly.
I was a witness to this truth as I was listening to the mothers share their stories. If I thought of myself as “passionate” and “hands-on,” wait till you meet the other moms who were there. They shared how they don’t want any yaya to take care of their babies and how they hand wash their babies’ cloth diapers tirelessly (in this day and age when disposable diapers are most convenient! One mompreneur said that cloth diapers prevent UTI for baby girls and help babies get potty trained early since they can feel the urge to go to the potty.) There was even one mom who shared how she bravely pricked those what you call milk bleb/blister with a sterilized needle without a cinch. Wow! I’m grateful I didn’t have those in my whole breast-feeding experience ever because I’m not sure what will I do if I had one.
But there was this mom whom I admired the most. She shared about her experience with mastitis with one breast and how she lovingly breast-fed her baby even after her operation. Even if her mother was encouraging her to use formula and stop breast-feeding altogether, she still chose to endure the pain and inconvenience of having to feed her baby with the other breast until the operated one will totally heal. She supplemented her milk with formula, but when she was all well, she went ahead and breastfed her baby. Now she is still exclusively breast-feeding her one-year-old boy. Her story just really struck as pure bravery and unconditional love.
Finally, one mom got emotional when she shared her story. She gave birth a few years ago, and she didn’t know any better. She didn’t have a support group such as this one, so she felt alone in her “battle” to breast-feed her child. She just followed her intuition on how to give what’s best for her baby, even if she had to pump, store, and travel with her breast milk every weekend when she was assigned in Manila. She said that good thing she has found a support group now.
I totally agree with her. Mommies are expected to know what they should do and when to do it. We need to be strong amid challenges, even if inside we are sometimes weak and vulnerable. Little do others know that mommies need each other to keep themselves stronger and braver to face any difficulties that lie ahead. It takes one mom to teach another because she understands from a mother’s point of view.
Last weekend was truly a win for me. I can say that my experience was all about love and commitment. The love I felt in that room was so strong. Two years ago, my dream is to be part of this support group to empower women. I’m so happy that slowly this dream is coming to pass. If all the kids in this world are nurtured by the kind of moms I met in that room, I’m sure we will live a better place and have a better future. I’m already excited to go to the next mommy meet-up and continue this positive energy going:).