I wrote previously about my experiences of becoming a mum for the first time. It was not what I expected it to be, and it left me feeling confused and overwhelmed.
This time round, everything is different. My daughter is 7 months old now, and I haven’t spent more than 2 hours away from her – and that has only been twice recently when I’ve been ill.
I am still breastfeeding, and she still wakes up 4 times a night. I am exhausted. Every inch of my feels constantly drained. But you know what? I am loving it. I am loving being able to provide for this not-so-little bundle. This time round I experienced that rush of love when she was born – the immediate bond I expected with my son.
“I bet you can’t wait til you’re no longer feeding so someone else can look after her”
“Why don’t you try her on formula? She might sleep through then!”
“It’s probably time for you to give her bottles so that you can get a break.”
Excuse me? What happened here? Where is the support and encouragement? I felt so guilty when I needed all of the above with my first born. And yet this time round I’m being pestered to change it up. No matter how many times I say I don’t want to, the pressure is still there.
It takes a village. I get that, I really do. I don’t know how I would have coped first time round without all the support I had around me. And yet this time the support seems to be misguided and misplaced. The support is for things people think I should be doing as a mother, rather than the things I want to be doing.
Quite frankly, I sometimes want to tell people to just bugger off and leave us alone.