I am really appalled by the lack of support and understanding we have of other mothers lately. When did all this bitchiness and self righteousness start?
In a recent article, a mother (who is a journalist) wrote about how motherhood is a cinch and how she doesn’t see why mothers whinge about motherhood or find it hard, as her nine month old has been easy. I haven’t named the person or will write about the person because I don’t think she needs anymore publicity than she has already received but I can’t understand why you would point out how picture perfect your life is without thinking of how it may effect other mothers. Yes, it is wonderful that she finds motherhood so easy and that it has been a breeze for her but please, there are mothers out there who struggle with raising their babies especially parents with special needs children, children who are ill and unsettled babies who are teething, have colic or reflux etc. Post Natal Depression is very common in our country and it might take an article like this to make a mother, who has PND, to feel even more inadequate/ depressed and tip them over the edge or do something rash. This is unacceptable.
First babies would be relatively easy if they have an easy going/ placid nature… well up until they start teething and when they start walking, then the challenges start but if you have an only child then caring/ looking after them isn’t an issue because you can devote all your time to that child, it you have more than one child it is a totally different ball game. Going by Census statistics, most of us have a second child within the first four years of our first, so a lot have a toddler or preschooler and a baby to look after, which is considerably harder than one 9 month old (which the journalist has).
So anonymous mother, yes your child might be easy and a ‘cinch’ but until you have a child who is ‘not so easy’, or have more than one child, please refrain from being condescending of other mothers, who do have to have a whinge because they need to get it out. Being females, we need to discuss our problems with other mothers who understand what they are going through. Mums do not to be judged because they are stressed, tired, had enough, need a break etc. and do not eed to be made to feel guilty for feeling the way they do. We should be supportive of each other and help each other, not criticise. What works for one person might not work for someone else but they should still be supported and not criticised.
Each child is different and how we deal with them is up to the individual mum… nobody else should have the right to make us feel bad about how we take care of our own children. You can not tar all babies and families with the same brush.
Now Giselle’s pearls of wisdom… Giselle, it is wonderful that you think breastfeeding is a fantastic thing and it is easy for you to do, really it is but for some mothers it really isn’t so easy and your comments actually make those mothers who have or have had trouble with breastfeeding feel even worse or feel more guilty than before.
We are bombarded, from the moment we find out we are pregnant, that breast is best but if we can’t we feel pressured to keep trying. I know a lot of babies who end up malnourished and/ or lose weight because the mother’s milk didn’t come in or there wasn’t enough. The poor babies were hungry all the time and not settled. The mothers were told to keep trying even though it was futile and made to feel even guiltier when it doesn’t work, then they are made feel horrible because they had to start bottle feeding. They question what they did wrong and feel like a failure for not being able to feed their babies themselves.
Basically, mothers are made to feel as if bottle feeding is the worst thing you could do for your child but it isn’t. There are a lot of people who were bottle feed and they grew up to be happy and healthy adults. You still bond with the baby while bottle feeding them.
I have always had the philosophy of “whatever works” in regards to all areas of parenting. So, regardless of whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding, as long as the baby is thriving and content then it doesn’t matter how the baby is getting fed… whatever works! When starting solids, again it is ‘whatever works’ for you. If bub is showing signs at 4 months or 6 months it should be up to you, each child is different. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you fed your child before 6 months, like some mums have.
Go with “whatever works” for YOU and your children! Not all kids are text book and there are millions of different ‘authorities’ who think their way is the right way but in the end the are YOUR children and you have to do what is right for you.
I have taken my boys to maternal health nurses for their first 12 months and I can guarantee for each of my boys, the information was different each time. By the time I had my third, I was well and truely over the changing ‘ideals’ of what you should do with your baby, so I only went to get him weighed and have his development checked. I agreed with whatever the nurse said but not really taking much notice. Not everything they say is gospel, as I have found out over the years.
Just be mindfull, what works for you might not work for someone else because all children are different. Feel free to give your advice on what worked for you but please don’t push your thoughts/ ideals onto someone else or judge them because they do things differently to you.
Support other mums, we are all trying to do the best for our children and as long as children are happy and healthy then it shouldn’t matter how someone parents their babies or children.