You don’t get a manual when your baby is born, however you’ll still get told all the do’s and don’ts of motherhood. Once Myla was born, without delay, family, friends, midwifes, fellow mothers insisted I breastfed her, “formula doesn’t have the nutrients and healthy stuff that your breastmilk has so you can’t take that away from her”. I tried, i really did. Truth is recovering from a C-section and learning how to breastfeed became way too challenging. So I stopped. I knew I would be judged, I knew of others who were able to breastfeed for a lot longer than I did and I knew breastmilk was the best for my baby. So inevitably guilt grew within me and it was merely unbearable.
As a mum when unable to do something you ‘should’ be doing or do differently to others, that’s when comparison can drive you insane; because I start to question if I’m doing a good job, I start to think they are doing better than me, I start feeling guilty for something and I start to fear being judged. The crazy thing is, there will always be something. Should I give her a dummy or not? So and so does or so and so doesn’t. Should I not be rocking her to sleep? Should she be sleeping on her own by now? How did that mum’s body recover so fast? How does that mum look good all the time? and How does that mum juggle everything so well?
I mean damn, there is no escape.
I ponder on where it came from, the speculation of what a ‘good’ mum should be like or look like. I know most days I feel the pressure to be a good mum and try doing everything the ‘right’ way or at least what is perceived to be the right way, yet also worry that from being so obsessed to get it right, I’ll end up getting it wrong.
Reality is we are all juggling and struggling with different things yet doing the best we can within what each of our circumstances allow, whether we are parents or not.