Hey mothers, I want to thank you.
All of you.
You, who smiled, knowingly at me while I was pregnant. You, who stopped to say, “just beautiful”, when I first breastfed in public, all nervous and sweaty. You, who held my baby so I could do yoga and breathe. You, who once kicked a man out of the mothering room at the office for me. You, who answered every teary text. You and you and you, who sat under a table at a wedding while I pumped. All of you who have been there for my motherhood journey.
But even more than that, I’m writing to thank the rest of you.
Yes, you, collective mothers, who helped another mama out.
You, who said put a boob on it. You, who stopped to carry something when hands were full. You, who came over to clean. You two, who smiled. You, who held a wee one so a mom could check out, take a shower, take a moment. You, who was there for that panicked phone call. Every one of you who did something, anything, that said “you got this, mama” when a mama so did not think that might be true.
You, who was simply there for another mother.
I’ve spent the past year thinking about the community of motherhood. I’ve been thinking about how to build upon it, gather it in, support it, nurture it, grow it. I’ve been observing it ever so closely as part of it and by stepping back from it. And what I’ve seen, really seen, has totally amazed me.
So many mothers doing their thing and doing the breastfeeding thing too.
In millions of ways, in good moments and in bad. I’ve seen mothers make it through and mothers make a true confession about just how hard it all is, the motherhood and the breastfeedinghood. I’ve seen sisters and friends go through the journey. I’ve seen some things that really need to change, but thankfully, even more inspiring change-makers.
I’ve seen beauty, and I’ve seen many, many beautiful boobs making the magic milk.
Most of all, what I’ve seen is that together, we’ve got this.
Together, you lift one another up, hold the babies up, keep the breastfeeding up. Together, you come to the aid of new moms and working moms and tired moms and postpartum in need moms. Together, you make it easier. You make it more fun, and you make it a lot less isolating.
That’s the whole reason we’re here, this necessary togetherness.
When I started out, I was alone in a bathroom stall feeling overwhelmed. I had a deep need, a need to see beyond the bathroom door to the millions of women around just like me. I knew they were out there, the breastfeeders. We just needed to find a way to reach one another, so that support and guidance could reach us.
And reach us it did. pumpspotting is now thousands and thousands and thousands of mamas strong. It’s a true community, a rich gathering, a dedicated tribe.
On this day of mothers, I’m not only grateful to be be a mother, but I’m also honored to be a unifier of mothers. I’ve always been passionate about supporting you, but the joy has been to discover that each of you supports me just as much (no really, more).
So thank you. Thank you.
Thank all of you who have brought pumpspotting to life. You, who first downloaded the app. You, who first emailed to express your joy upon signing up. You, who posted a pumpspot at Harry Potter’s World of Wizardry. (And you, nursing at the Lichen Exhibit.) You all, who shared so many great ways to get more ounces from each pump. You, who shared a selfie of your sweetest moment. You, who made us all laugh. You, who are my partners. You, who spoke out in response when a mom spoke up about how hard it is to do it all, the feeding and the family and the work and the whirlwind of emotions.
You radiant women, who said back to me, “don’t quit on your hardest day”.
And most of all you, Chelsea, who emailed yesterday to tell me what pumpspotting meant to you and with beautiful, brave words, confirmed what pumpspotting means to me.
We are all in this, together.
(And thank goodness.)