I am not a natural mother || thank you for thinking I am

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 natural mama, 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 few 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 

Cherie

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4 Comments

  1. September 12, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    I think of all the creatures on this earth humans are the least instinctive at parenting (other than the totally natural, dizzying love with have for our children) because we simply think too much – too many reasons to doubt ourselves and worry about what other people think. It’s hard to tune into your intuition and go with what feels natural when childhood/teen years/early adulthood can be so damaging to self esteem and people are so opinionated when you’re at your most vulnerable post natallly. I think coming across as a ‘natural Mum’ is more a reflection of how at ease someone is with life in general than any mastery of parenting skills. And breastfeeding as a natural consequence of giving birth is quite a misnomer – it’s a learned skill that both Mum and baby have to get to grips with and it’s easy for some and agonising and heartbreakingly difficult for others.
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    • September 12, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Hi Nic,

      I think you have pretty well summed up what I was trying to say. Being a natural mum is noting to do with the mastery of Motherhood, I ain’t a master of anything, lol.

      I also really like what you said at the beginning about humans being the least natural at parenting and your explanation as to why is very thought provoking.

      The whole breastfeeding is natural and therefore easy like you said juaybosnt true, it is a learnt skill. I’ve been through some really really difficult times and have been lucky enough to have pulled through the other side. I know it isn’t always the case for people. The association between natural and easy is one of the biggest things to overcome with breast feeding, removing that illusion I think would help a lot.

      As always, thank you so much for commenting. It means so much.

      Cherie x

  2. Jag
    September 13, 2017 / 7:40 am

    For me it’s a mixture of trusting what I consider instinct and then when that fails me taking council from people with previous experience first and then litriture. Also there’s the balance of parenting negotiations on decisions and what’s the best choice between me and my partner… we are mostly identical in outlook so this is a boost.

    I love the part about being on the edge, and this is so relateable. But I believe this is the best way that we all grow and get the best outcomes…

    Inspirational and amazing as always x

    • September 13, 2017 / 4:52 pm

      Hi Jag,

      Thank you for stopping by. I agree with what you have said about trusting instincts. I think sometimes especially for new parents in this modern world of so much information, it is easy for the sound of your instincts to get surpressed. If and when you do listen and follow it, I think it can be such an empowering feeling.

      It sounds like you and your partner have got a great little system in place. Thanks for reading, hopefully see you back soon.

      Cherie

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