Six weeks with our little one has flown past, and during these weeks I’ve made an observation. I dare say that finnish mothers must be the loneliest on earth. In a culture this civilized it amazes me that mothers are supposed to take care of the home and children, alone. The men go back to work fairly quickly after the baby is born, and the mothers are left to figure out the new daily routines and just deal with it. Single mothers are hailed as heroes because they “cope” and motherhood is measured by sleep, the less you sleep the better on the mother ranking you are. All over town I see mothers pushing their babies in strollers alone and in forums women are mostly feeling like they aren’t enough, not doing enough, and that they are lonely. I get lonely after a day, I need a solid social network and luckily I have my parents and my inlaws that help whenever they can, still motherhood is very lonely at times.
Finns are extremely bad at asking for help. They are stubborn and independent to the bitter end. But why does parenting and motherhood have to be about surviving, coping, getting by? Since when is it a negative thing to be a mother?
I used to laugh at mothers that go to things like mummy-baby yoga or baby poetry etc. but I realize now it’s just an excuse to meet people with the same lifesituation, people that understand. There is a solidarity between mothers, and this can be found in events and clubs like baby rytmics or baby cafés. I promise never to laugh at these again, I might well be a frequent baby yoga goer in the future!
I recently posted a question in a dog related forum on facebook asking if someone knew a dog walker in the city. I got a lot of good tips but a few negative comments like: “deal with it yourself, so has many others before you” and “How can you be so selfish that you want to sleep” etc. I’m being left to take care of home, baby and dog for four days and the mere thought of being left alone makes me feel abandonded and chained to the home. Yes, you might think these are western world problems and they are in relation to many other problems but why is it the standard to deal with it and not ask for help if you feel it’ll make your day better? A mum that has slept a few hours is much more sane and stabile than a mother that hasn’t. Happy mother – happy baby – happy dog. And it will prevent me from first drowning my husband in kisses and then hour long blabla babble thats been packed up during the whole four days and then strangling him for being away.
Asking for help on a forum and I got showered with negative comments by horrible negative people. But then there are these wonderful people, like a girl on my street that saw my post and volunteered because she misses her own dog that passed away. If you are uncapable of asking for help, you won’t get it either.