We got up to leave the table at a beach side cafe after a catch up with family. My daughter who was deliriously overtired after a night of crying, kicking me in the back and rubbing her gums, began nuzzling my chest. “What is she doing?” I was asked. To which I replied that she just wanted a feed. “ Oh shouldn’t you have weaned her off by now?”. I went on to say, “Oh, she was only having one night feed and then her teeth started coming in so she comfort fed, and my supply went up and so were back to feeding in the day again”. I got in the car and said to my husband oh my gosh, why the hell did I defend myself? It only hit me in the car, I had defended myself as If it was a crime to feed my 13 month old. It didn’t bother me because I know there was no malice attached and they didn’t mean harm by it. But it got me thinking.
An old friend from high school recently messaged me saying she doesn’t know how I do it. I was a bit confused because, girl, you’re doing it too. She had had a tough week with every. Single. Family. Member. Putting their input in on how to raise her child. I was walking with my sister today and was saying to her, I can’t think of the amount of times we get judged or asked why were doing this or that but what’s worse is I know we have done the same to others.
I was thinking back to when I had asked my friend when she was going to stop feeding her 18 month old, purely out of curiosity. I didn’t mean to have any judgement attached but I had no right to ask in the first place. It was none of my darn business. I recall her defending herself as well, saying that the world health organisation states feeding up until 2 years of age is beneficial for both mother and child. I feel horrible thinking back to that time years ago. Making her refer to bloody WHO as a defense. Her son was a rainbow baby after many, many miscarriages. That question could have been so triggering and hurtful. I had no right to ask and If I were in her shoes I probably would have given myself a little serve.
Looking back, the whole reason I asked was probably fueled by my wants and feelings of failure. Our sons were born a week apart and after 3 months of feeding in tears, pink milk and pieces of nipple missing, my milk dried up. He had never latched well, but I didn’t think there was another way but to persevere. I had mastitis about 8 times and was so sick. I looked at my friend and saw my feeding attempt as a failure as a mum. I don’t feel that way at all now but it was a really sad lie I allowed myself to believe.
Sitting at the cafe, being asked a similar probing question, even though subconsciously defending myself, I let it slide off me like water off a duck’s back. The prayers answered that went into my daughters birth, feeding and overall well being was why I go on so unaffected. I stood in agreement with God through my pregnancy that I would be able to feed well, she would latch with ease and I would not have mastitis once this time around. Faithfully He delivered as He does on all of His promises. But how was this family member meant to know that? She just asked a simple question, that in her mind, wasn’t offensive or obtrusive at all. I, now, don’t mind when someone asks me something like that because I know inside, how much I fought for my daughter to feed with ease. It’s a blessing she still loves to feed and I look down at her each time and get filled with love, seeing her still depend on me for nourishment. It makes up for all the tears and sadness when I would feed my son in agony.
But here’s the kicker, not everyone can let it slide. Some of those comments burrow their way deep into their being and starts eating away at them. Mama’s are amazing. And I know it’s brutal to say, but unless you’ve walked it, you can’t say you can relate. Give other mothers grace. But even more so, give yourself grace. Don’t let those comments of others affect you because no matter what advice they may push on you, you are the one chosen to raise your little human. No one else. Be kind and let them say what they want and then go on about your business and do what YOU know is right, because you do! Don’t second guess yourself Mama. It’s written into your DNA when you were formed in your own mother’s womb- you too know how to be a mother. It’s the greatest accomplishment and honour. You truly do have this girl!
On top of dealing with mum life on a daily, we have hormones that go crazy at times. That doesn’t help when you’re having a hard day. When your kids won’t pack up their lego after being asked 109263827 times. Or someone says something that normally wouldn’t bother you but this time around, you burst into tears. I hear you. I have done my fair share of random crying and lego stomping. I made this up just before my daughter was born to help balance those hormones (maca powder), give me a chocolate cravings hit (cacao powder) and nourish my body (plant based goodness). Instead of going for a choccy bar the next time you’re feeling a lil’ off, try this quick combo.
No sugar crash.
No hormonal spikes from processed ingredients.
Just mellow choco smoothie goodness.
1 tbsp Cacao powder
1 tbsp Maca Powder
1-2 organic pitted dates
400ml Organic Almond Milk (or any milk of choice)
1 Frozen Banana
Ice (amount to your liking)
Then just blend baby, blend.