Welcome!! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that this will be a place where women can come for support during pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding, and beyond.
I’m 35, a SAHM of three littles ages 7,4, and 2, and I’ve been married almost 15 years to my high school sweetheart. I can’t say I’ve always had a passion for all things birthy and breastfeeding but I always knew I would be involved in the birth community to some degree (I actually wrote in my senior memory book that I saw myself as an obstetrician helping my sisters deliver their babies). Well, I’m no OB but my interests have shifted to becoming a midwife within the next few years. For now I’m a childbirth hypnosis educator and lactavist.
I’ve been breastfeeding for the last 7 years (with a few months break in between each baby) with no clear end in sight. It was a bumpy road when I started with my oldest baby but I’ve learned many valuable lessons along the way and I continue to learn something new as I continue on this journey of motherhood.
I attribute these lessons to the kind of mother I am today. I’ve made mistakes (LOTS of them) and figured out what works best for me at this point in my life. But life evolves and changes and what works today may not work tomorrow. So, I’ll try my best and learn from the changes to adapt as best I can.
I think one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned and that I try to share with other mothers is to trust my own instincts. I remember back to when my husband and I were planning our wedding. We met with the chaplain for some pre-marital advice and to go over the ceremony. I was 20 and my husband was 22 and neither of us had the slightest clue what we were getting ourselves into. The chaplain sat us down to talk to us about the life we were about to start together and how being open and honest was going to be key to a successful relationship. Pretty standard. Then he told us something that I easily dismissed at the time but have since kept in mind for every decision I make. He said “Listen to the experts, then do what you want”. We said thank you, he married us a few weeks later, and off we went to start our lives together.
His words didn’t mean much to me until we started having children 7 years later. It seems like, as women, when we announce we’re pregnant our intelligence and decision making abilities are no longer credible to the public so every one else becomes an expert. The “should’s” start flying at us. “You should breastfeed”. “You should sleep train”. “You should let him cry it out”. “You shouldn’t let him cry so much”. Should, should, should! I used to take people’s advice and “should’s” as judgment. I thought, why would someone be telling me how I should do things unless I’m doing something wrong? The “should’ers” really took a toll on my confidence as a mother and I knew I had to change. I started to do something society makes it so hard for women to do: I started to trust myself.
The “should’ers” are everywhere. They feed on our insecurities and we encounter them regularly. They’re well-meaning friends and family members. They’re on TV and the internet. In the grocery store aisles and book stores. Everyone telling us or selling us the solution to how to be a better parent than we are when the only place we need to look for the solution is within ourselves. So, trust yourself. Yes, you’ll make mistakes but you’ll learn from them and do better. So just listen to the “should’ers” and the experts then do what you want.
I accept that I won’t get everything right and I’ve stopped trying to. I’m getting it right enough that my kids are well taken care of, deeply loved, and happy. I’m going to continue hearing the “shoulds” (as you will too) and I’ll take to heart the ones that will teach me something I’m willing to accept. Over the years it’s become important to me to be at peace with the decisions I make, to fully stand behind those decisions and to surround myself with supportive people.
I’m no expert but I do have one “should” for you. You should fill your day with love so your mind can be at peace. You’ve got this.
Love and Peace…..
and more to come