I have a confession: I’m not proud of it, but before I had Jackson I judged moms on their mothering. NOT. ANY. MORE. This post isn’t about how amazing Jackson is (but he is AMAZING) OR how wonderful motherhood is (it IS wonderful) because everyone already knows all of that. That’s why pregnancies are so exciting. That’s why people have more than 1 kid. That’s why people put their wallets and bodies through so much to get a baby when struggling with infertility. That’s why D and I kept going after so many losses. I think it’s great that most of what we see on social media is a picture PERFECT portrayal of our lives. We should be more positive than negative (btw have you seen my baby’s sweet smile?-pic below), but I also love to see the not so picture perfect clutter in the background. I need to know that the mom with the cute girl in the most adorable outfit who did the sweetest thing for her new baby brother who is sleeping 6 hour stretches at night is also the mom whose new baby just sprayed poop all over the wall and that sweet girl threw a tantrum right after the photo was taken and we haven’t even mentioned the laundry and dishes and clutter blurred in the background just enough that no one will notice. This post is all about that blurred background because we all know about the rainbows and butterflies.
Motherhood is hard. Breastfeeding is HARD. Cloth diapering is actually not as hard as it seems. I went into this whole motherhood thing over confident and let me tell you I’ve been slapped in the face on a daily basis since. I’m no longer judging other moms because I now know that mom is judging herself and her own performance as a mother. She doesn’t need me judging her too. I now know that mom is doing her best, but she doesn’t feel like it’s good enough. She’s questioning every decision she makes and feels like she’s failing on a daily basis.
I knew I would worry about Jackson a TON because 1) I’m a mom and moms worry and 2) I’m a worrier. I had no idea how much I’d doubt myself as a mother though. We should have done more tummy time today. I should have put him down for his nap. I should have held him more. I should have taken him to the Dr. sooner. On and on and on.
The biggest doubting of all came with breastfeeding(bf)….and still does. I’m an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and I struggled with bf. I knew bf was hard, but wow I had no idea just how hard it really is. I doubted (and still do) my supply. I always told my patients the first 2 weeks are hard. Just stick through those first 2 weeks and then you’ll love it. I had it in my mind that it was magically going to be perfect and different after the first 2 weeks. And then I hit day 15 and my nipples were still sore and I still couldn’t latch him in the snap of a finger and I still couldn’t bf with one arm and accomplish something else with the other and I still didn’t feel confident he was getting enough. Thank goodness a friend then told me the first 4-6 weeks are really hard because I was feeling pretty defeated when nothing had changed on day 15! I told Daniel at least 10 times that I understand why women stop bf. I told Daniel that I wish he could have the boobs with milk for just 24 hours. There’s something special and amazing about being the only one who can provide food for your child while bf, but it’s also incredibly exhausting and overwhelming. And so hard. Sore nipples. Rock hard, sore breasts. Leaking milk. Mastitis. Doubting supply. Pumping. My intent is not to deter you from bf, it’s just to let you know that it’s okay if you’re still not enjoying it and still struggling 5 weeks in. And I’m certainly not going to judge you if you’re 5 weeks in and no longer bf. I’m finally enjoying breastfeeding, but it took 7+ weeks to get here. I still doubt my supply and my nipples and breasts are still a bit sore, but I’m finally enjoying it more than the doubt and more than the sore.
Like so many moms have told me these past 8 weeks…you’re doing great and you’re enough. In fact, you’re perfect! Your baby needs you just the way you are!
P.s. Find your mom tribe! I am so happy to have found mine (SLAMfam you know who you are) and really can’t imagine doing this sahm (stay at home mom) life without them.