I push the door open and step inside. Four hundred seventy-one women smile and wave. I announce I’m having a bad day and twelve of them stop in their tracks to hug me and commiserate. Five more give me words of encouragement. And those I know the best check on me later to see how I’m faring. Another day I mention how dragged down by motherhood I’m feeling and the chorus of “me too,” leaves me feeling less alone and gives me strength to keep going. And on the days when everything is “coming up Susan”, sharing my good news receives nothing but celebration and cheers.
There is no competition, no judgement, no shame. It’s a place where each woman recognizes both that she is and is not her neighbor. Though we are all human, all mothers, all women, and share the same desires to feel heard and valued, we bring our varied backgrounds and experiences to this space. It’s a place where vulnerability and ordinary courage are practiced daily. And it’s open 24-7.
Here’s how Yael Sarr, the Camp Director (and my dear friend), describes Mama’s Comfort Camp:
Motherhood, the most important job in the world is also the hardest, the lowest paying, comes with no vacation days, and never enough sleep…The gap between expectations and reality is huge, and painful.
Moms need all the support, community, and comfort we can get, and we need a safe space to talk to each other and discover none of us is the only freak in town having a rough ride. We use social media to find each other and offer emotional peer support online, and whenever possible, mutual assistance in real life.
It’s my safe haven and keeps me from feeling alone during the day when I am trapped under two kids and three loads of laundry. And though I adore my IRL friends, there’s not always a good time to call and chat. The beauty of social media is that you can talk when it’s convenient for you and others can listen when they have a free moment (which, let’s face it, its usually while we’re peeing).
Now for the exciting news: Yael recently asked me to join as a Den Mother and I’m both honored and excited! I am so grateful for this space she has created and am glad to have a chance to give back both to it and to my friend. I’d love for you to join us.