22 April 2017

Stop Rushing Mothers!

Hi everyone,

This is something I've wanted to address for a while  I just didn't know I should approach the subject so here goes. Too often these days, western women are rushed into a routine of motherhood that confirms to societal norms. I don't want to sound like I'm writing a psychology essay, but honestly it needs to stop its soooo jarring.

Since having my son I've made a conscious decision to be as gentle as I can with myself and not force either of us into rushing anything. When he was born he slept (or didn't) in his Chicco next2me, he was awake at least every hour for a feed and he just did not have a settled night in there, although it worked really well for his daytime naps. From around 8-12 weeks he began sleeping in my bed. Almost instantly he slept so much better, of course he would, I'd carried him for 9 months it made perfect sense that he would sleep better with me where he felt safe and comfortable. Im sure we have all heard awful stories when people warn you of the dangers of co-sleeping and when my son was born he was just so tiny I couldn't imagine him in my huge bed, but once he got a little older it worked perfectly for us and he now sleeps around 12 hours a night.

I use this extra wide bed rail from Safetots on his side of the bed to stop him falling out. It happened once while I was getting ready and I felt like the worst mum ever, but the bed rail is great and puts my mind at ease, its also mesh so its completely breathable

Then came the rush of everyone telling me I'd better get him in his cot because I'd struggle getting him out of my bed in the future (again, he does sleep well in here for his daytime naps). I like sleeping with my baby, I think I get just as much (if not more) comfort from sleeping beside him as he does me. I still breastfeed and my son has around 2 feeds in the night. If he was in his cot, I would have to wait until I heard him cry, go into his bedroom, take him out of his cot and feed him, then try to settle him back to sleep. Why would I want all that agg? Its soo easy feeding with him next to me and doesn't disturb either of our sleep.

Whilst we're on the subject of breastfeeding, this is another thing I feel that mothers are rushed into stopping prematurely. I am going to do an updated breastfeeding timeline on my personal experience (Read my last one here) but as I've mentioned, I am still breastfeeding my son. He's 7 and a half months and I'm constantly asked when I'm "gonna stop". Firstly, why are you bothered??? Secondly, as with every other question, the answer is: when we're ready. It works well for us, and as for all of the articles/research suggesting breastfed babies have attachment issues and are slower at developing, my son is very independent and can already sit, crawl, wave, roll and stand... just saying.

Not breastfeeding would obviously make it easier for me to go to work full time, leave him with someone else for a few hours, let him sleep out, spend a lot of time in public places, go on nights out etc. We've been taught that all of these things are normal and expected of mothers, even when their babies are young. Every mum deserves a break but when you decided to have your baby you signed up to being a mum and so doing these normal things are not going to be as easy as they once were. I'd just like to make a point here that this isn't at all intended to be a dig at women who decide/feel they have no option but to formula feed for health/personal reasons, I'm simply trying to highlight that we as mothers are expected to do as everyone else is doing when in actual fact we have a little baby to raise and thats more important than anything no matter how we feed them!

Getting back to work. Most women have their baby and go on maternity leave, meaning they usually have a job to return to before their babies first birthday. Some are able to stay at home and raise their children, some are self employed or under financial constraints and have to go back to work right away. Neither are any less worthy. So why are women who go back to work soon after their baby is born frowned upon for not spending every hour of the day with their children, yet those who stay at home with their children are frowned upon for not getting up and going to work?! You cant win.

I'd be naive to think that some women have no other option but to adopt these routines to fit in around their work life/other children and I'm sure I'll have more insight into this in the future. There is no right or wrong way in motherhood. If you and your baby sleep comfortably in separate beds then thats great, more room for you. If they take a bottle really well meaning you can go out to work and keep a roof over their head then thats also great, mums are great, we should all come together and show everybody how great we are and politely ask them to stop with their uninvited opinions on what we should and shouldn't be doing with our children.

Written by Ruby from @ruby_natalia


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