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It’s OK to be “that” mum

I’ve been that mum, the one that the other mums snigger about because she doesn’t like to leave her baby, or that people sneer at because she doesn’t like other people holding him, or that others judge because she worries about literally everything.

They say she needs to have a break from her baby so she will have time to miss him, or she can’t be selfish and has to share her baby or even that in their day there wasn’t any of these precautions and they turned out OK.

I genuinely don’t think people realise they effect their words have on us. As if we don’t question ourselves enough already now we have people telling us, we’re too clingy, selfish or even becoming doctor’s overnight and diagnosing us with Post Natal Depression.

I’ve been like this with my children, when I have had Post Natal Depression and also when I haven’t, let me tell you something…even if she does have PND, taking her away from her baby will definitely NOT make it better, if it isn’t what she wants it WILL make it worse.

All of my babies have been born towards the later end of the year, so when you get visitors there tends to be a lot of winter virus going around. I don’t think people realise when they paint you as the psychotic OCD mum, that the reason you don’t want an ill person holding your new baby is because it might just seem like a cough to them, but to a baby it can be life threatening, it could mean ending up on a Children’s ward around older children with Bronchitis and sickness bugs.

Maybe the reason they don’t want you to hold their baby is because they just don’t want to let go of them, I never wanted to let go of Jack. I loved cuddling him, I knew it would be short lived, that in a few months he’d be starting to move and eventually he wouldn’t sit still for my cuddles. Surely it was me who needed the most cuddles, as his mother? We had the strongest bond after all. I carried him inside me.

That’s another point, we carried them inside us for three quarters of a year, why would we suddenly want to be separated from them? They are happiest with us, listening to our heart beat, the smell of their mummy and the sound of her voice.

For those who say in their day there wasn’t any of this to worry about, I’m sorry but you’re ignorant. Move with the times, there’s so much more to worry about now, because we have access to so much more information. Safe sleeping, anchoring furniture, stair gates, blind cords the list goes on and on, I’m of the opinion, if I can take the precaution, then why not do it? In your day it might have not been the thing to do to have bonding time without visitors, but I’m sure in your day a lot of women felt unable to speak out about how they feel, well this is my day and I want alone time with my baby and lots of it.

If there is one thing that really grates my cheese, it’s a group of people passing a baby around. Each to their own and if you’re happy for people to play pass the parcel with a tiny human, fair enough. But for me, it’s torture, watching your baby be lifted from person to person, knowing they aren’t settling anyway because they aren’t with you, but then to be disturbed every ten minutes, after just getting warm in someone’s arms, getting passed to another place…again! Yet people look at your like you’re insane or selfish for not sharing your baby.

I think most people make judgement because they literally don’t get it, they aren’t bad people, they genuinely think they are within their rights to have a sense of entitlement to your baby, but they don’t, this is YOUR baby and YOUR life. They will never have the bond you have with your baby and that is the most important bond, so don’t worry about how it’s affecting them, if that makes me selfish, then I’ll take that.

I’ve had people snigger and make comments about how I won’t pass my baby or like other people holding them, to me I don’t see why that’s something to laugh about. If someone takes your baby out of your arms without asking, for me it’s torture, that baby is a piece of me.

The best you can do is stand up for yourself and explain it to people, I have a lot of people in my life who get it and now don’t make any assumptions or take any liberties. But I also still have a lot who will never get it because they just aren’t willing to listen, they just label you as that mum.

Well I’m definitely that kind of mum…and proud of it.

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A break from blogging

So  I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging the last few months. I’ve really missed it and feel there are so many things I have missed recording about my little monkey’s.

To re-cap I have two little boys Jack (2.5 yrs) and Michael (1.5 yrs) and write about all the trials and tribulations of being their mummy. Since I stopped blogging things have changed quite a lot, I am now expect a baby GIRL!

I will talk about my pregnancy more in upcoming posts but I’m still in shock it is a girl!

I just wanted to write a quick post about why I haven’t been blogging for a while, there has been no major reason other than life just getting in the way.

So now I have my 2yr old, 1 yr old, 20 weeks Pregnancy and my wedding in 8 weeks! Safe to say I have plenty to write about…..

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Letters From A Breast Feeding Mother

If you enjoyed “Letters From A Frustrated Mother” https://yummymummysblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/letters-from-frustrated-mother/  here’s the sequel…”Letters From A Breast Feeding Mother”

This isn’t a breast-feeding promotion post, it has been a large part of my motherhood journey, but it’s my personal choice, woman should be empowered to choose whether they want to breastfeed or formula feed, without shame or judgement.

To the man in my local coffee shop

On my first outing with my eldest son Jack when he was just 11 weeks old, he weighed 5lb 13oz. When you leaned across with a grin on your face, I thought you’d be a kind stranger asking question…well I was half right. Your first words were “Have you just come out of the hospital with that baby?”, patronising at best. My response, a simple, “No, he’s 11 weeks old” I felt no need to explain further. With a grimace you shrugged, realising he was premature, then as Jack began to cry I pulled out his bottle and he happily lapped up the milk. As you pulled your coat on, I thought I’d escaped any more comments from a rude older man, yet before you parted you decided to come over one more time and tell me “I’ve known people have premature babies before, he’s too small to be out he should be in hospital, plus you’re meant to breast feed babies that small to give them the nutrients they need, my wife breast-fed all of our children, that’s the problem with ‘you youngsters’ today, too selfish to do the best for your baby, you should be ashamed of yourself”. As I sat open-mouthed with shock at your ignorance and rudeness, you turned on your heel and left, not realising the Depression I’d overcome and battled throughout my previous failed pregnancies was now spiralling once again.

To the person who reported my ‘Brelfie’ on Facebook

For those who aren’t familiar, a Brelfie is a Breast Feeding Selfie, so basically a picture of you breast-feeding. I’ve never really been one for Selfie’s, I’ve always feel too insecure to take a picture of my self ‘looking good’ and posting it on-line. Yet seeing celebrities posting Brelfies and news stories about the stigma that comes with Breast Feeding, I took a photo and posted it, you see I’m proud of breast-feeding my son, as I’ve said previously I could never directly breast feed Jack, so this was a success for me. As I got notifications of people ‘Liking’ my photo, I felt proud. Then it popped up…“Your photo has been reported to Facebook for Containing Nudity”  Seriously? Nudity? I’m sure on your news feed that Saturday night there was a picture of a girl with their cleavage in your face on a night out, yet I’m showing nudity? My response…Posting another picture the next day with the caption “To the person who reported my photo yesterday, I hope the back of my son’s head doesn’t offend you too much”. I never found out who reported my photo, I just hope for their sake, they never open page 3 of a newspaper.

To the young girl who said Breast Feeding is disgusting

I know you don’t understand, you’re only 18, not that other 18 year old’s wouldn’t, but I’d categorise you as a ‘young 18 year old’, not that there’s anything wrong with that, enjoy your youth while you can. But for you to look at me whilst I’m discreetly breast-feeding my son and tell your friends “That’s disgusting, this is the 21st century, hasn’t breast-feeding been outdated by the bottle now”.Your ignorant comment, shows your immaturity, I just hope you don’t have to experience being a premature mother, where giving your baby breast milk can be the difference between life and death.

To the stranger who came up to me in the street

I sat on a bench on a cold December day, wrapped up and feeding my son, as usual I get ‘the look’ from passing strangers. Sat with my mum I became nervous as a man started walking over to me, ready for the usual bashing, he put his hand on my shoulder and tells me “If anyone comes over to you and gives you a hard time about what you are doing, just tell me, it’s the most natural thing in the world and you should be proud being such a young girl that you are giving your baby the best start in life”. He then gave me £1 as a reward, it was a lovely gesture, then as my fella comes over to ask what he wanted, I told him, his response?...”You should sit here with your boobs out all day, you could make a fortune!” Need I even continue?

To my Breast Feeding Star Buddy in NICU

At first I found you too full on, I thought you were forcing breast-feeding on me, I felt completely pressured. By day 3 when I woke up sporting a milk induced boob job, I needed your help. You helped me to be able to use the electric breast pump with ease and by the time my son was 5 weeks old he was trying to latch onto the breast, when I tried to exclusively breast feed him but he lost 150g in one day, I was devastated, all along you had pushed me to get him to feed, you knew I wanted it and you enabled me, but I’d failed. You came in holding a certificate and a bottle, the certificate was a congratulations for how long I’d managed to breast feed so far and the bottle, you explained was to put breast milk and Premature baby formula in to help him put on weight. You looked me in the eyes and told me “You have stressed yourself out trying to give him the best start in life, this is the next part now, just like he needed oxygen to help him breath, he needs this milk to help him put on weight, you don’t need to stress about whether you will be a good mother, you’ve already made it”. You said this as a passing comment, but as a first time mum and mum to a preemie, you made me realise…I can do this! You will never know how much that meant to me.

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The disappointment of a snooty stranger

Walking around my local Sainsburys store this evening, my hubby Paul, pushed the trolley and I pushed our boys in their double buggy. Used to the nosey glances from strangers I push their pram with pride and revel in the smiles people give my gorgeous babies. Jack my eldest will smile at everyone (unless he’s throwing a tantrum or asleep) but 70% of the time he is cheekily grinning away, let me give you a glimpse…

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How could you not smile back at that?!

But there are the odd few people, that will either ignore him (which doesn’t bother me too much, maybe they’re just not baby people…or just shy!) but there are some the will look at me and then look at my boys in utter disgust, reminiscing over previous unwelcome comments from people with a similar frown, I assume they are thinking something along the lines of…

“She’s too young to be a mum to two kids”….(I’m 23, but apparently look about 16!)

“They’re too close together in age!”…..(10.5 months between my boys…and I’m proud)

“How dare she take that much space up with a side-by-side buggy” (I refuse to have a pram where I can’t see one or either of my children, I want to see them both clearly all of the time)

These glances I’ve become accustomed too, but today I had a new experience completely. As we strolled down the baby aisle of Sainsburys we saw a little girl toddling alongside her Daddy who couldn’t have been much older than Jack, she looked like she was enjoying herself and burning energy (two birds…one stone). Since the store wasn’t busy and had rather wide aisles we decided to let Jack free, not that he’d run far or get away very quickly in his huge snow suit. As he was toddling along, I was surprised and impressed that he wasn’t interested in the breakable items on the store shelves, but loved the signs hanging from the ceiling, not the he’d have a hope of reaching them, but he was giggling away and running under one, then on to the next and so on.

As he was running along giggling away, not causing any mayhem (trust me he can cause mayhem and this wasn’t) yet the people he passed grinning ear to ear at, responded with frosty glares. Luckily Jack is too young to notice and carries on regardless, unfortunately I notice, I enjoy the odd smile you get in return from strangers as the watch your child chuckling hysterically. But today was different, today there were no friendly glances.

I’m his mother so I’m biased to his cuteness, but how am I supposed to teach my child to enjoy life and that a smile given is a smile returned, if passers by won’t take two seconds to crack a smile, as they say it takes more effort to frown than it does to smile!

So strangers, I beg you, whatever your opinion of children, if an innocent toddler passes you by and thinks you are fascinating enough to beam a smile at, then just take the time, only a moment to smile back at them.

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