Mothers day is a very emotionally charged holiday, perhaps even more so than Valentines day. On Valentines day we are all acutely aware of the singletons – as we have all been there at one point in our lives. But on Mothers day, many woman suffer in silence, and we do not know the heartache they silently endure.
Becoming a mother isn’t as easy for some as it is for others. Sometimes I think people forget that everyone’s journey into motherhood is different and in no way the same. However, just because our journeys are different, it doesn’t make anyone any less of a mother.
For myself, I was blessed with the ability to fall pregnant very easily. It was holding on to those pregnancies that my body struggled with. I had 3 losses before having my little girl. I also had another loss before falling pregnant with the baby I’m currently carrying. My journey into motherhood has been an emotional roller coaster. But I am far from alone.
There are woman who have incurred multiple rounds of IVF, IVI, fostering and adoption processes. Miscarriages, Stillbirths and sudden infant deaths. Terminations for medical reasons. Mothers who have had to use sperm and egg donors, as well as couples who have used surrogacy, There are woman out there who’s children sadly never made it earth side, and who have empty arms. But to them, they became a mother as soon as that test turned positive. There are step-mothers, mother-in-laws, people in our lives who take on the role of a mother for what ever reason – everyone’s journey is different and they are all amazing and incredible mothers.
And the thing is, is that once we finally become a mother, we are overwhelmed with what kind of mother we should be. Society seems to struggle with allowing people to parent their children how they like. Instead of showing support, there can be a lot of judging and negativity. All of which can have a massive affect on a woman’s mental health, especially in those newborn days when are hormones are all over the place.
I struggled to breastfeed my eldest. There was so much pressure to breastfeed, and when I couldn’t I was devastated. I was hit with a huge amount of guilt and like I had failed at the first hurdle. This pressure and feeling of failure led me down a dark path and I suffered with postpartum depression and anxiety; constantly worried if I was doing the right things, if how I chose to raise my little girl was the right way. It took a while for me to realise that I was doing what felt right and worked for us, and that it was okay. I want every woman out there to know that;
It doesn’t matter if you gave birth to your child vaginally, or via C-section. With no pain relief or all the drugs under the sun – you are still an amazing mother.
It doesn’t matter if you breast feed, or bottle feed. Combi feed, or tube feed for medical reasons – you are still an amazing mother.
It doesn’t matter if you co-sleep or not, use cloth nappies or disposables. Raise your child to eat meat or to live a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. Home educate or send your child to public school – you are still an amazing mother.
It doesn’t matter if you use the “cry it out method”, or don’t leave your child to cry at all. It doesn’t matter if you choose to go back to work, or stay at home full time or even choose to work from home – you are an amazing mother!
There are so many ways to be a mother, and one need not be a biological mum to have a mothering role or input in someone’s lives. You are all doing a kick ass job – don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.