I'm not talking hilarious comedy gold bad mum like Mila Kunis & Kirsten Bell I'm taking real life bad mum. Or at least feeling like you are one. I want to talk about the standard we set for ourselves as mamas. The unrealistic pressure we put on our selves to be perfect or to be giving or kids our best ALL the time. This idea of being the perfect mum has been a tough one for me to go past. I wanted to do everything I could to raise Ruby in the way the books say I should. I wanted to stick to my guns and follow out the dreams and ideas I had about having/raising a baby before I even got pregnant. But so far nothing as gone to plan, Ruby hasn't played by the book and neither has my body. Ruby was born by emergency c-section (first failure as a woman), we then struggled to maintain breast feeding and switched to exclusively pumping and feeding her breast milk via a bottle (second failure as a mum) and now (three moths on) we are coming to the end of our journey with me nourishing my baby, as my milk dries up and we have to formula feed (third failure as a mum). Doubting myself as a mother I'm having my fourth and final failure - not being confident and proud of my decisions and my body (a failure as a woman/mother/person). Why do we think we need to be just like everyone else? Who ever decided what was right and what was wrong in mama-baby world? What baby do you know that actually conforms to any kind of book? What adult have you ever had a conversation with that went like this:
"Hey nice to meet you, where are you from? what do you do for work? were you breast or bottle fed? Oh bottle fed... that explains a lot." SO WHY THE HELL IS IT SO IMPORTANT!!!!!
I cried today in the supermarket as I bought the first tin of formula for Ruby, but I've decided now that those tears weren't for my failures. Those tears were for being sad. Sad that our time with breastfeeding is over, sad that she is growing up but not sad that I didn't do everything in my power to make it work. Mamas, power to each and everyone of you. We are all strong and kind and full of love that never ends. That matters so much more than how your babies belly gets full.
Thank you to Ruth Gilmour for taking these pictures of me feeding Ruby. A time I never want to forget.