I’ve been having a lot of conversations with good friends and coworkers lately about how motherhood has changed me. Don’t get me wrong, before Dane arrived I tried to live by the Golden Rule and be a good person. Since his birth though, I’ve seen all these changes in myself, particularly when it comes to respecting women and other moms.
When you become a mom, you gain automatic access to this club – it’s like a secret society in plain sight. A lot of moms support, encourage and are quick to share helpful tips and tricks. However, there is another side of the coin – and it’s hard to imagine it exists, but it does. Mom shaming is such a real thing, and it blows my mind that people (especially other mamas) could be judgemental or not understanding of another person’s struggle. I personally had a hard time nursing Dane – I didn’t produce enough to keep him full… which KILLED me. He wasn’t gaining weight the way the doctors would have liked, so I began to supplement with pumped milk…. or at least I tried. Pumping and I did not agree with each other, I was only able to produce a tiny amount after a very long stretch of trying. It was exhausting, and frustrating. The guilt over not being able to provide for my child, the worry we wouldn’t form a strong bond and the feeling of inadequacy as a mother was so hard. It pushed me to a very dark place, and thankfully I had the support of my family and friends, and especially my hubby. I can’t imagine feeling alone or being judged by people at such a fragile time. We made the extremely hard decision to move to formula in order to supplement and help our son gain weight and be healthy. I did a lot of soul searching during that time, decided to forgive myself and move on. Since making the switch, Dane is thriving – healthy and growing, and smart and happy and doing all the things that are expected of a three month old. We are ALL happier, sleep better and are maintaining better mental health. There are still many hard days & nights, and we feel confused and like maybe we’re fumbling a little too much. This is the new normal, and it’s amazing in so many ways… D was in SUCH a good mood this morning – he’s starting to giggle and use his voice more. He’s bright eyed and smiles a big toothless grin every time he sees either of us. He melts my heart. ❤
Motherhood has changed me, definitely for the best. I want other moms to know that it’s hard, and there is NO right answer except for what is right for you and your family. Don’t get down on yourself because of something you cannot control, and above all else, remember to love yourself. Your body just did the most incredible thing and it is something no one can take away from you. Let’s all try to lift each other up and rather than judge or assume – give people the respect they deserve. After all, we’re all just trying to do the best we can. It’s all about perspective!