I am not a natural Mother.
Over the years I have been told quite a few times that I am a Natural Mama. This post is to dispel that myth. When I say naturalmama, I do not mean it in the sense that I breastfeed, baby wear and only feed my children organic, homemade food. For starters only the first two statements are true. *smiley face*
I mean that people often think that being a Mother comes naturally to me, it doesn’t. I was never that girl who always dreamt of getting married and raising a family. In fact as a teenager the opposite was true.
I never thought I would get married. I certainly didn’t think I would have four children. It was my husband who wanted to get married and start a family. Because I loved him, I went along with it.
Having four children, four boys in fact. All whom have strong personalities and various needs, people often say they don’t know how I do it. The truth is, I am often on the very edge of coping and clinging on by the skin of my teeth.
I have major doubts and I cannot tell you how many books, blogs and parenting programmes I have watched over the years. Or how many parenting groups I have joined, desperately seeking out information on how to be a better Mother.
Yes, as soon as I fell pregnant with Oliver I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I have spent over 5 years of my Motherhood breastfeeding. I know some people look and think that I am a natural at breastfeeding. Again, this is a myth.
I have had to have medication to help me stop, I’ve had to combi-feed, I have had to have a lactation specialist visit me at home multiple times and I’ve had to seek the expertise of lactation consultants/ breastfeeding Peer supporters on more occasions than I would like to admit.
I have read a mutlitude of literature on the pros and cons of vaccinations, supporting a child with Autism, sleep issues, discipline, different teaching/learning methods.
When you see me doing a craft project with my children, it’s generally not something I have thought of. It’s a result of scrolling through Pintrest or random google searches such as “feathers, stickers, cardboard craft ideas“.
There are two reasons I wrote this post. One, for anyone who looks at me and think she I am a natural and was born to be a Mama and uses it as a reason to feel bad about yourself, please don’t.
Two, because I work bloody hard to try and constantly improve myself as a Mother. Sometimes when people say I am a natural Mama, it almost feels as though all the effort I put in is undermined/dismissed.
Parenting is hard and sometimes it’s nice to have all the effort you put into recognised. So maybe instead of saying to someone they are a natural mama, why not comment on the dedication they put into parenting or compliment them on the way they are always seeking to put their child’s needs first.
There you have it. A bit of a wordy random post. I hope some can relate to it and that you can be proud of yourself for your efforts in parenting and that you can encourage others in their parenting whether they are a natural mama or not.
♥ What are your thoughts? Do you feel your efforts are often overlooked? Do you think we should comment more on other parents strengths?
Much love and many thanks