Mothers are constantly worrying about their children but for new mothers, that fear is often magnified. For one young mother holding her newborn in a hospital ward, the kindness of a complete stranger offered the comfort she needed in the most unexpected way.
Being a first-time mom can be terrifying. The doubts you have about whether you're taking proper care of your newborn, or how you'll be as a mother when they start growing up can plague you. Sometimes, it can get a little hard to deal with on your own, especially in the beginning. No mother escapes it really, and that included author Amanda Jennings. Daily Mail reports the story.
Unsure of how to deal with the newborn who depended on her for everything, Jennings was overwhelmed with emotion as she sat with her baby in her arms, 21 years ago. Sobbing in a hospital ward right after having given birth, the young mother found comfort in the unexpectedly kind words of a complete stranger.
A woman who had just given birth to her third child, came into her ward, comforted her, and reminded her, "you are the best and only mum your baby wants".
In a Twitter thread, Jennings recalls and thanks the nameless stranger, who had just delivered her third child.
For a new mother who is afraid of doing the wrong thing or wonders how they'll ever be able to keep up, those words can go a long way in easing her fears. At one point when Jennings felt like she wouldn't be able to do a good job, she mentions that the stranger said "You're doing it just by being you. She is your daughter and you are her mum."
If there's a lady out there with a 3rd child aged 21, born around 25th Nov, who 21yrs ago crept through the curtains in a ward at Queen Charlotte's to comfort a sobbing new mum who felt overwhelmed, hugged her and said 'you are the best and only mum your baby wants'. THANK YOU.— Amanda Jennings (@MandaJJennings) March 5, 2019
Now, a mother-of-three herself, Jennings said, "I think about that lovely woman a lot. It was such a simple gesture. So lovely. I felt very lost, unsure how to soothe my baby, out of my depth, and she was like an angel. I often pass her message on to other new mums. These small acts of kindness are so important."
I think about that lovely woman a lot. It was such a simple gesture. So lovely. I felt very lost, unsure how to soothe my baby, out of my depth, and she was like an angel. I often pass her message on to other new mums. These small acts of kindness are so important.— Amanda Jennings (@MandaJJennings) March 5, 2019
If anyone has ever said that motherhood is easy and natural, they clearly haven't seen the struggle that new mothers face. So when Jennings asked mothers from the Twitterverse to share their similar new-mother stories, the response was overwhelming.
One user shared her story where she received the same kind of support when she was with her 1-month adopted 3-year-old son:
When I was on my first day alone with my (3 yr old, adopted, had only known him a month!) boy after husbands paternity leave ended, I took him for coffee/babyccino. He reached out and pulled the table, knocked my coffee all over table, me, floor, my bag, his pushchair...— Zena West (@ZenaWesty) March 5, 2019
...it was still hot. In narrowly missed him. I had got sticky coffee everywhere and sudden panics about burning my son. I burst into tears as I grabbed at some napkins. Staff came over with blue towels. A new coffee was placed on my freshly cleaned table, a gentle hand...— Zena West (@ZenaWesty) March 5, 2019
...rested on my shoulder, she passed me a tissue, and she told me I was doing a grand job and we all had days like this. As it wasn’t obvious how new a mum I was, I’m not sure she knew how much that meant.— Zena West (@ZenaWesty) March 5, 2019
Another woman with a heart-breaking story of a miscarriage shared that there was a nurse who was ready to comfort her. A happy ending was the icing on that cake:
When I just had my first miscarriage confirmed by my GP at her office and was getting blood draw from the nurse, I started crying; she set everything down and hugged me, told me that I would be okay and one day hold my child. I’m nursing my 7-week old as I write this.— Khadija A (@halfcuppachai) March 6, 2019
One Twitter user shared that years ago, she too received words of encouragement:
How lovely! Similar 11 yrs ago when I was trying not to cry while pushing miserable newborn (undiagnosed silent reflux) around the City of London. A besuited woman stopped & said, ‘It doesn’t feel like it but you’re doing brilliantly.’ Made my heart well up!— Louise Taylor 🇪🇺 (@Sar1skaTiger) March 5, 2019
When a new mother loses her child, it can be devastating to deal with, let alone on her own. But this nurse understood:
❤️ sometimes these people just appear when you need them most. Like the nurse who stayed and held my hand while the Dr rescanned me and confirmed my baby had no heartbeat. Women are wonderful— Fifi & Roo's Repairs (@fifiandroo) March 6, 2019
It meant the world to me ❤️— Fifi & Roo's Repairs (@fifiandroo) March 6, 2019
But these are not the only stories that will warm your heart. Sometimes, mothers who have more than one child need a little bit of kindness to show that they're doing fine.
One mother stated, "I remember flying to Italy with my two kids aged three and a half and six months just after my marriage split up and a lovely man could see I was struggling and held my baby for a while. I’ve never forgotten him. People don’t know the impact of small kindnesses."
Another mother posted, "I was 25, with a newborn, 22 month old, 3 yr old and almost 6 yr old, in church. One lady tells me I need to take 3 yr old and spank him because he couldn’t sit still. About to cry, another came up and whispered 'don’t listen to that old biddy, you’re doing great keep it up!'"
And it's not just the women who are helping out. This mother said, "One day with my <1yr old son in a buggy I was trying to go up a long flight of stairs. A lovely man in a suit said 'here, let me help' and grabbed the front, lifting it up and between us we made the long flight of stairs. Such simple kindness was so appreciated."
With so many such stories, it shows us a few things:
One. Mothers, new and old, you're doing a great job. It's not easy and your ability to get through it is inspiring.
Two. A little kindness can go a long way.
Three. This chain of kindness is what makes us human.