Tag Archives: baby

Are you a Natural Mother?

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Are you a natural Mother? I sure as hell am not!

Being a Mother has been the only job I’ve ever had in my life that brought me to my knees begging for mercy on multiple occasions.

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My husband recently brought it to my attention that other people he knows (sometimes himself included) feel inadequate when around me as a parent. This made me sad. Never since becoming a Mother have I EVER tried to force my opinions or ideas on another Mother because I know people parent from their own experiences. What may be important to me, may not be for you.

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Here is a perfect example. When my husband and I were about to become first time parents, I had actually gotten my ideal job offer, BUT, it wasn’t meant to be because my husband was on a trajectory that would make him 3 times more money than I would ever make, but it would require him to leave for long stretches of time, and IF I took my job offer, it would have meant that my baby would be without either of his parents for most of the beginning of his life.

My own Mother’s words rang in my ears about how much she had wished she could have stayed home with me when I was small instead of leaving me in daycare or with various babysitters and I made the decision to stay home, because I wanted better for my son than I had. I wasn’t sad about it because I have faith in myself and know if I went back to work tomorrow I know I could get a full time job, without much headache.

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I think this is what makes me come off to other Mothers as being a natural. The opinion that others have of me, doesn’t bother me. I will tell you it is entirely because of the fact that life has taught me, when others find fault in you, it is because they don’t have the bravery to look at themselves and figure out what is driving them to criticize others. I know I look crazy to others and I know others think I should care more about their opinions but I just walk through my life to my own beat, looking a touch crazy on a regular basis, and I’m proud of that!

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I parent my children without apologies. I make every bad situation into a teachable moment for them and myself. I’ve turned every meltdown that my kids have thrown in public into a teachable moment for me, sometimes I learn my lesson and say, “No way am I gonna attempt that shit again” other times, I just am hurting to solve the issue and try and try and try again! I hear the criticism from others, I just don’t care! Also I have developed this amazing ability to tune out people, I mean if I can tune out the screaming banshee of a child of mine throwing a tantrum about having the wrong spoon colour, tuning our a mean mommy wannabe is easy peasy.

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Back to my original point, I am not a natural Mother, nope not me, you must have me mistaken for someone else! My house is constantly a mess, I swear in multiple languages, multiple times a day! Everything about Motherhood has been difficult for me, I just stepped up, and did my best, researched the shit out of everything I could and then applied what I could to my own situation. Now I will make a list of the things that didn’t come easy to me.

Pregnancy

Childbirth

Recovery from childbirth (two c-sections that had open holes for over two months, and terrible nurses making me cry in hospital both times)

Sleep (the fact that none of my kids slept for more than 3 hours at a time for more than a year a piece) I am not a morning person.

Breastfeeding judgement

Pumping problems

Judgy Grandma telling me to give formula because my kid was too skinny

judgy relatives thinking that both of my kids were on the Autism spectrum (even though I am trained to find markers of learning disabilities and they are trained to be gossipy Aunties, please give me your unsolicited and uneducated opinion)

Hormonal imbalances

Infertility issues when trying for my second

Miscarriage when trying for my second

Dealing with having my health deteriorate due to complications from childbirth

Weight gain for someone like me who used to be athletic!

Dealing with postpartum depression

Despising my husband for not helping because of his and our culture’s chauvinist ways.

My husband not standing up for me to people who constantly criticized me in his circle of people

My husband not stepping up to the plate once we became parents

Recognizing my children have allergies, and then having to step up to the plate and change everything that I had learned to about cooking and relearn to make everything from scratch. A whole lifestyle change.

Even now, I get so much judgement for REFUSING to hang around people that despise me, because it isn’t worth my emotional sanity to give toxic people even a moment of my time.

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The point of all this is to show you, or someone you know that even when you suspect that someone is perfect, chances are they aren’t. I struggle EVERY Day! I am constantly learning how to deal with life so that it doesn’t tip me back into depression. I don’t want your pity because I deal with my emotions, I have balances and checks in place to ensure that I don’t fall back on hard times. I am emotionally intelligent enough to ask for help when I need it, but I am very cautious of whom I ask.

I hope you take a good hard look at yourself today and just be happy that you have made it this far!

 

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Damned if you Do, Damned if you don’t, Part 4

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I would like to talk about how you choose to nourish your baby. There are very opposing views on this, the Breastfeeding mother, the Pumping Mother, the Formula feeding mother. I personally breastfed and occasionally pumped with my first child. The ONLY reason I didn’t pump for my second child was/is the sheer lack of time. The amount of criticism that a woman receives based on her decision to pump is tremendous. It is absolutely mind-boggling to me how much EVERYONE and their effing mother gives so much of a fuck about how women feed their children. Wow, even thinking about it now, and what some of my friends and family have faced, no matter their choice. I’ve decided to try to show you how EVERY SINGLE ONE of us will be judged regardless of which category we fall into.

The Breastfeeding Mother:

As someone who is a breastfeeding mother, I can tell you, that I wasn’t a crazy fanatic about nursing, I was a lucky one who had both children latch on fairly easily at first, but I didn’t have too much production at first. The first two months of breastfeeding were terrible, TERRIBLE, just TERRIBLE! There were so many complications, from clogged ducts, to my son losing weight, to cracked nipples, engorged breasts, finding places to nurse in public, getting looks in public, covering up in public, travelling through airports, etc.. Most people were really encouraging about how great it was that I was nursing my son, until he was about 7 months old and had teeth. Then I would get comments like, “Oh, if your kid could walk, talk and chew his own food, why would you nurse him? Doesn’t he bite you?” While I understand that this is a legit question for someone that has no knowledge of the topic of nursing, but these people were other women, other mothers, and grandmothers who were being passive-aggressive biatches! For the record, it isn’t too painful to nurse when a child has teeth, the only real reason it is painful is if your child is mischievous and actually bites you on purpose for a reaction!

I fed my oldest until he was about 15 months, and began the weaning process at about 13 months, I’m still in the process with my youngest. It isn’t easy to wean, just like it isn’t easy to latch, we as women are pumped with so many hormones that when someone makes passive aggressive comments it doesn’t help, in fact it stresses us out more, and when we are stressed, the baby is stressed. Just because you have some ideal of when I should stop nursing my child, it doesn’t mean that I will.  I mean I have to put up with other people’s idiocy when it comes to judging my parenting decisions, I wonder why they think I should respect their opinions so much when they are so judgy about mine?!

The Pumping Mother:

Let me clear this up, the pumping mother can also nurse or formula feed to supplement, but most of the time, they pump their milk, for reasons such as having to return to work, or my one friend who was so sure her boobs would be deflated if she nursed, so she did the next best thing, she pumped her own milk, hoping that her boobs wouldn’t deflate. Whomp, whomp it didn’t work, but even she was judged for always stuffing a bottle into her child’s mouth. She would explain to strangers that it was breastmilk not the devil’s formula! Really?! She was Explaining this to STrangers! Why?! because we are so overwhelmed with judgement that we feel the need to explain to total unknowns what we are feeding our children. We have so much to explain to others because we are all so overwhelmed with guilt, it is hard to carry a baby for 9 months in this age, there are so many restrictions, that previous generations didn’t receive. People used to smoke, and drink while pregnant, and if I ate sushi at a restaurant while pregnant I got the evil eye! This poor woman felt the need to explain to strangers that she wasn’t feeding her child formula in public, but her own breastmilk, and the strangers would be like “oh, that is good, because formula is so bad, and breastmilk is so natural.” This whole idea about formula being bad, and that women are less of a mother is also an insane idea, I’m pretty sure most people in my generation were formula fed, we all survived…and if we didn’t it most likely was due to other things and not our addiction to formula in the first years of our lives.

The Formula feeding Mother:

This Mother is the Most Loathed type of Mother around. She is the worst according to pretty much everyone. I feel for my friends that formula feed, for whatever reason! There are many reasons that a woman might choose to formula feed and you know what we as a society need to understand that it isn’t something that Everyone wants to do or even can do for that matter.

One of my best friends couldn’t nurse, something about production, and the first thing I told her was fuck anyone who gave her a look, and that do whatever works for her. She has told me how hard it was for her, and how it made her feel like she was doing something less for her child, based on what others say to her. Then I have another friend who just said no, I’m done with this nursing thing, after I think two weeks, and she was happier. I have another friend who breastfed her first and gave her second formula after a few months, and she was happier too! I know another mother who weaned baby about 3 or 4 months in and she also is happier. What I have noticed is that anytime a mother does something to make herself happy or in this case makes a decisive decision, society looks at her with pure disgust and gives her that just smelled vomit look, when they find out she has fed her baby poison formula. I remember one of these lovely ladies told me that when she went to her doctor’s appointment, that even the doctor was shocked and couldn’t comprehend why she wasn’t still breastfeeding. Really?! the doctor too? Come on, this is just too much for me. Formula is a scientific advancement, why would a doctor of all people put down this choice. even if the doctor doesn’t agree isn’t there a bedside manner class in med school? oh wait, there isn’t, that explains a lot!

(before you jump down my throat for that bedside manner joke, I’m basing my knowledge off of my older cousin’s med school commencement ceremony, where the guest speaker wasn’t a celebrity but a very experience doctor who said that there needed to be a med school course to learn proper bedside manner)

 

To each their own and I always tell my friends and other women, NEVER say NEVER, because when you do, your kids will most likely eat your words at some point for your judgy bitchiness! Also remember if you cannot respect others’ choices, when it comes to raising Their children (not yours) then think about what society would be like if EVERYONE was exactly like you, and if you like that idea…something is very off about you my friend, because I would hate to be surrounded by people EXACTLY like me, what fun is that!?!