This one was 17 Myths about Motherhood. As I was reading, I thought of a few I’d like to add…and of course share!
First Myth: Asking for help is a sign of weakness. WRONG!!!!!
Ok I’ll admit after baby number one I didn’t blow dry my own hair for 3 months (I know – scary and sad). But I was afraid to leave her apparently or to let anyone else watch her for those 5 minutes. Now you’re thinking to yourself, uh you had to shower right? Yup, with her in a swing, chair, pumpkin seat, something, on the floor….in the bathroom….where I opened the curtain every minute or so to make sure she was ok and breathing. (Yes, yes I am a little bit crazy!)
What I didn’t do is take advantage of all the wonderful people in my life who were DYING to hold a baby! People who I would trust with secrets and my life so why not holding my baby. These people after those first three months would become very huge components of my life. I was then able to shower without throwing water on the floor every minute and a half; doing laundry without almost tripping over and landing on top of my child; cooking without stopping every couple minutes to shush the pathetic whining and my favorite was being able to change without my tiny person awkwardly starring at my naked not so adorable postpartum body.
Asking for help I realized showed strength. It meant I had built a powerful unit of trustworthy people around me that I would allow to hold and enjoy my baby when I need a minute, or two, or 30 (yay naps!!!)
Second Myth: Breastfeeding is natural, easy, and the only way.
For those mom’s where breastfeeding work for you and your baby I am eternally jealous of you! I tried for 2 weeks with my daughter Caylee. My milk never came in and she was simply going hungry. I fed her for roughly an hour plus and had about a 30 minute break before she wanted to latch again. She was perfect, latched right on, suckled great and laid calmly. I however was a hot mess!!! I wouldn’t calm down enough to let my body do what has naturally been occurring for centuries. So with that, no milk came in and with that came a lot of tears.
I cried every day for those 2 weeks. I was so worried about making sure this new tiny person in my life was taken care of, I was not at all taking care of myself. Finally, the pediatrician looked at me at our 2 week check up and asked me what I was so afraid of. Why was I so determined to make breastfeeding happen when my body was so clearly telling me it wasn’t going to happen for me? (Huh? Weird someone actually gives a crap about me right now, I thought it was all about the baby – where was my postpartum doula…… wish I would’ve known these existed at this time!) Well, what I was afraid of was being judged?! What?! What?!!! I just grew a human being for 9 months (really 10), gave birth to her and am working on keeping her alive and now I am feeling like I am failing and I give a crud about what other people think? Lesson number…. I don’t know like 100. At that point I learned….it doesn’t matter what other people think. I am her mother, I get to decide what is best for HER, and I get to choose what is right for our family. So that day I drove to Target, picked up formula, went home and that kid ATE and ATE and ATE! She was starving and she slept for HOURS! Finally full, happy, and satisfied – again…. I cried. What a relief and an amazing feeling. This set me up for so many wonderful choices I have made for my children.
Final myth of motherhood : There is a right way and wrong way to parent.
Don’t even try it – don’t think it – don’t push it! You and only you know what is best for your child. There is a difference in giving ideas, advice, or suggestions and telling someone how to parent. I can assure you that NO parent wants anyone to tell them how to parent their child and therefore none of us should ever do that to another. We can use each other for advice and help, support and a sounding board, but not as the audience to our soap box. You have all the answers on what to do for your child whether you think you do or not. It is absolutely perfect to ask for help and advice, nothing is easy or normal, and everything will work out as it should.
Would you add to this list??