We are currently living in a multi-generational home. My husband and I lived the navy life for 7 years. But last year, we decided we’d spent enough time far from family – over a decade!
So, in February, he separated from active duty service and joined the Navy Reserves. Home we came and into my in-law’s house. At first, we were just waiting for a job, but with their blessing, we decided to start Marabou to provide postpartum support to moms after childbirth.
Multi-generational living is awesome. My in-laws get to see their grandkids every day and foster relationship with them. We share responsibilities: meal preparation, yard work, etc., and these previously overwhelming tasks are now balanced and easy. There are extra eyes and hands in the house. It’s easy!
But, things still get tricky here and there! And it’s made me realize something about motherhood.
Children are children. They are rambunctious and bouncy and loud and don’t naturally understand social norms. At first, it was hard for me to not assume fault for everything my kids did. I still struggle with this:
They woke someone up early on a Saturday. Ack!
They dug holes in the yard. UGH.
They make messes and now we have ants. Noooo!
My husband told me to not blame myself as long as I did my best (which made me question: was I really?). But, I still felt something – mom angst! – every time there was an incident involving my kids. I finally realized what it was:
The captain of a ship is ultimately responsible for his ship. Out at sea, if there’s an incident that happens, the captain is the one who takes the heat, whether he was there or not. This scandalized me at first. I remember hearing of one such case where a captain was fired and he wasn’t even awake during the incident! I said to my husband: But, he wasn’t even there.
Being a captain is a terrible honor, but I realized it’s the same thing with motherhood: we are responsible for our children, but we cannot be blamed for everything they do. It’s impossible to watch and preempt their every move. Nor is it good for them (or us!). We can only do our best, train them wisely, and prepare to take responsibility when it’s due.
This sounds intense and scary. But it’s also freeing. It allows us moms to stop blaming ourselves (finally!) for what our kids do. It’s not your fault! Kids are still learning about life and they are going to make mistakes. You are allowed to stop feeling guilty for those mistakes. Sure, the buck falls to you. But, I’m here to tell you you’re a good mother regardless of the liability your children drag you into. You haven’t done anything wrong. Do your best and forget the rest.
You are the captain of this ship, mama. Yes, you are responsible. And yes, you do need to fight the continuous battle of training your children to be good humans. But, let yourself be free of guilt for things you have little control over. Still: you are rocking it.
How does Marabou support women?
Moms who used to “lie-in” for forty days now have to pick themselves up within a week to get back to work. Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood now live too far away and often can’t take time away from their full time job. Household chores and caring for older children fall on the woman who just delivered a new life and whose body needs rest. But we live in a sprawled world and helping hands are plentiful but often too far to be of benefit.
Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. How can you give you daughter living in Japan married to a Navy sailor a helping hand? How can you lend a hand to your best friend who moved to California? How do you ask for help when none of your family lives near you anymore?
With a Marabou gift registry you can ask for any service you know will be of benefit during postpartum recovery.
Postpartum doulas for a first time mom
House cleanings for moms of multiples
Childcare for moms with older children!
Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask that your friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.