Every Sunday at 3pm, I get in my car and drive for an hour across town. It’s a long trek, but I look forward to the solo time in the car because it means I get to turn the music up loud and sing along, all by myself, without having to answer questions about why we wear shoes, or why traffic cones are orange. It’s a long time to be sitting in the car, but it’s glorious to be able to listen to a podcast uninterrupted without having to pull over to find a lost shoe, or open a granola bar package.
It’s a long drive, but it’s MY drive.
And once I get to my destination, I am greeted by the faces of five other mamas, all of whom have committed to being together for a few short hours, without our children, to do something that we love. Something that we share together. Something that we likely wouldn’t survive without.
We sing. Maybe it sounds a little ridiculous that six grown-ass women (with eleven children combined, mind you) seriously CANNOT WAIT to get together and create a few simple harmonies on a Sunday afternoon.
But I think that for all of us, at some point, this weekly gathering has saved us.
When my son was first born, I struggled. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was falling slowly into a deep chasm of postpartum depression. I was angry. I was resentful. And I was frustrated that I had to drive an entire hour across town to go and sing with these women. The drive there wasn’t so bad, but coming home, the tears would roll down my cheeks because I could only stay with them for about an hour before my breasts started leaking, and the bottomless guilt of being away from my baby took over my heart.
But I went anyways. Because even though I felt resentful, and was, truthfully, a giant raging hormone of frustration and attitude, I needed to be there. I needed to be with these women. I needed to sing. I needed to have something that was my own again.
And even though I was grumpy most of the time, and snapped at them on more than one occasion, these 5 friends and singing soulmates held onto me. They probably didn’t realize it at the time, and maybe don’t even realize it now, but just the simple act of welcoming me and my angry resolution each Sunday, and cradling me within the songs we sang, helped me to heal.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that’s true. It takes extra hands to help change diapers and make meals and put babies to bed.
But it also takes a village to raise a mother. It takes honest conversation, shared experiences and an understanding that some things are sacred, like our personal passions and our inner desire to be heard. Whether that’s in song or otherwise.
The five other women of Sweet Scarlet helped to raise me as a mother. They raised me up out of a seemingly bottomless pit of depression. They raised me up in their laughter and understanding.
They raised me up, back to where I knew where and who I was again.
Eran Sudds is a photographer, mama, and postpartum depression survivor. She is the creator of the Good Mother Project, and is passionate about making sure other mothers and mothers-to-be know how amazing they are, as both moms and women.
We want to hear your uplifting, inspiring, funny, or touching story about your experience as a mother. Please visit our Storytellers page for more information on how to be published on the Good Mother Project blog.