I’ve learned a lot about becoming a mother from other mothers. How to move in my own, different skin. How it’s OK to need and want different support- from friends, family, my husband. I have learned that while community is necessary, it’s not always where you live. I’ve learned to forge some of these, and I am proud I have because it’s helped me find my tribe.
One of my favorite meeting places in my community is Bellani Maternity; we’ve been coming here since Addie was a few months for baby necessities and classes. Admittedly, I was intimidated at first. Cloth diapers and wooden toys and top of the line strollers felt uncomfortable and nothing like the big box stores, where I could proudly walk in with my list of researched items and know it all. At Bellani, I knew very little and that didn’t feel OK. I felt out of place. How was I to mother when I knew nothing about it?
Slowly, I began to ask questions, research the products and moved into a comfort zone. I began to talk with other mothers- who listened and nodded. We shared stories which sometimes sounded like our own repeated, and other times was a whole different world. I found that top of the line products didn’t mean I was spending any more money, but I was getting a tailored product- items that have been chosen based on Addie’s abilities and Millie’s current stage of development; personalized suggestions from the owner and employees. Women in my community caring for my babies, for me, through this small venue.
As we move on to preschool and a dance studio for Addie, I am excited to watch her continue to flourish. The love, confidence and skills classes at Bellani have given her, give my heart peace. We will miss ballet with Miss Sandy- but I know Millie will love joining her soon (and she will be in the Little Explorers class!).
Being a Bellani family is so much more than just being a customer- it’s about being the support we need, in whatever capacity we need. My life lesson? To take a step back and have confidence in myself. As a woman. As a wife. As a mother.
Sometimes it takes a total stranger to help you find your footing- I am glad I walked in the door and took that chance, so I could find the support I needed. What’s a life lesson you could bestow upon me?