Stigmas of a Mother

As we grow our children and into our role as mothers, both physically and spiritually, we are constantly bombarded with advice and judgements.

If a mother chooses to breastfeed her child in public she’s bombarded with criticism, when a mother chooses to formula feed her child she’s also bombarded with criticism. The single most unfortunate thing about these stigmas, it seems to  be other woman; Mothers, bestowing their ‘god like’ judgement upon their fellow woman.

After having problems producing enough milk for my hungry wee cub, I decided for my sanity and my poor cubs little tummy, to switch to formula. It’s only been a couple of weeks, yet people haven’t hesitated to show their distaste. No wonder when I go to the doctors, nurses or I have to feed our child in public I feel ashamed to declare this fact. How unfair it is, that I we as mothers are made to feel that way! Breast is best?! More like shut your mouth Barabara you haven’t had a child under 43 for 100 years!

I’m currently in a state of mind in which I have to constantly remind myself that the choices I make are in the best interest of my child, because they are. A mother who has looked after her needs is a good mother, no, a great mother.

If a mother chooses to do her makeup, straighten her hair, go to the hair salon, take a 10 minute time-out, breastfeed, formula feed, let her child play computer games, enforce her child to play outside, co-sleep, promote self-settling, let her child cry, hold her child close that is her choice as a mother.

It is our duty as woman, to withhold our judgement, to apply self-awareness to the judgements that do pop up in our head and alter those thoughts into empathetic, supportive and understanding wavelengths.

I’m sick of people in general constantly feeling the need to spread their ‘anticipated’ advice. Did I ask for it? NO! Some of the information is useful, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Just remember the next time you open your fat gob to some poor heavily pregnant woman who’s been told “Enjoy the peace and quiet whilst it last’s honey!” a dozen times in that week alone or that poor mother who hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in, well, she can’t remember.. They don’t want to hear it. Every child is completely different and we will or are learning our child. Specially if you haven’t got your own children!

My greatest piece of advice I can offer: instead of passing judgment or pointless advice, tell her how awesome she rocks that baby belly or how amazing that mother at the checkout with a child having a full blown tantrum is doing! Or, if you have friends that are pregnant or having a young child, offer your help, bring them food, coffee, compliments and support.

The Three Bears NZ.

 

We get by with a little help from our friends.

There comes a time in every new mother’s life when she has to put her tail between her legs and accept help. It’s not something we can all graciously accept, but where would we be without the amazing network of Mama’s, family and friends around us? There is nothing more important than the support around you in those first weeks!IMG_20170121_071708_519.jpg

Only 3 and a half weeks ago my milk had come in, it was about 3am; I was deliriously tired, I could barely lift myself out of bed and my boobies were about to explode. I had no idea what to do about it! I ended up messaging my two main mama’s for any advice to relieve the pain. They had both replied within minutes with all of their goddess wisdom, and boy! I couldn’t be more thankful!

Food is THE MOST appreciated thing on my list.

In my last month of pregnancy my mother filled up an entire draw in our freezer with beautiful meals she prepared with love!

When my mum bun looks more like a large dreadlock, I have puke on both shoulders and I haven’t managed a shower in days these meals make my life SO MUCH EASIER. They really are a god send! Not to mention every time my parents visit Mum can’t help but get the vacuum out for a quick once over, but it really makes a world of difference! I don’t know where I would be without my parents!

It’s tiring in those first weeks with everyone tripping over each other to see your new bundle, and let’s be honest, as tired as you are, you really do want to show him or her off.

Jordan and Mike food.jpgMy partner’s mother and sisters really helped us a lot in that first week! They got stuck in with the housework AND filled the pantry! Our close friends also stocked us up on healthy snacks which i found SO HELPFUL. Specially whilst trying to master breastfeeding! Eating pasta whilst  breastfeeding is quite a challenge, eating almonds and celery, much more plausible!


It really bothers me when I see or hear woman judging each other so harshly; mother or not, we should be supporting each other! Not criticising woman who like to spend time on their makeup and hair, judging the clothes they wear or their parenting style! I’m not going to pretend that I don’t find myself judging other women sometimes, but the difference between some of us is we choose to make those thoughts into positive ones and find the beauty in the people around us.

Something I’ll never forget, and I know my friend won’t either. We went for a walk with our boys about a week ago and a man walking past kindly reassured us “You’re doing a good job ladies!”. That stuck! And will for a long time! Just remember, that mother with the screaming child probably hasn’t slept or eaten properly in days or weeks! You offering to help her in some small way, like just telling her she’s doing a great job could make her day!
All of the love and support!

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