Thursday 18 July 2013

Sexy cow

Went into town today with Neil and Albie. I left them in Costa so I could run a few errands and felt as free as a bird spending my life savings in 'Boots' and, what better, treating myself to new underwear. Yes, that's right, more nursing bras....
As I walked down to see if M&S had started stocking any bras with more thought gone into the design than a pair of long-johns, 3 lads walked past me, whistled and said 'nice arse'. I'm not sure if they were being tongue-in-cheek but I have been working out very hard lately and I thought that maybe, just maybe, they might have meant it. Well, I say I've been working out but what that actually entails is running on the spot in my own living room for 30 mins next to a moses basket, after wasting a ridiculously long time customising my own avatar.
I find it a little bit wrong somehow getting wolf-whistled as a mum. I feel like mothers should have a little more respect than that, like the kind you'd give a war veteran or something. Of course, I am in no way comparing myself to a war veteran, but I feel like I've just done something extraordinarily hard that deserves something more. On the other hand, the opposite sex still finds me attractive and I'm a little relieved that having a baby hasn't turned me into an ogre.
This is one of the things that I'm struggling with the most; my identity as a woman has been flipped on the head, like I've been slapped in the face with a giant sized nursing bra. Am I to be seen as attractive, or as a mother? Am I aesthetic or functional? I still want to feel good about myself; I want my husband to still find me attractive; I want to go out on a night out and feel good in a dress without the need for giant hug-in pants and I want to choose an outfit based on what looks good and not what is practical. I've noticed a lot of mums go to the extreme and either become some sort of 'glamour mum' or else find the thought of juggling another 'job' of choosing outfits and colour coordinating clothes so impossible that they just give up and go out in the equivalent of a brown paper bag. I'm not sure which category I fall into yet as I feel like a mish-mash of a young woman and a dairy cow. Still, at least I can still get a wolf-whistle, which would make me feel a little bit better if I weren't holding a carrier bag full of beige maternity bras.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

I'm a failure.

Based on diary extract 19/4/11 (Albie 3 months)

I decided to try and breastfeed again last night - stupidly. True to form, I fed him for the usual 10 minutes before he kicked off and fussed and fussed. By the second time I was in floods of tears. I'm a failure. Neil took over and gave him a bottle and told me to get some sleep.
I rang my mum today and she was very sympathetic which is what I needed to hear. I feel like I need to hear it from her that it's okay to find things hard.
Neil left for football and I tried to feed him again with little success. I felt so fed up. I nearly rang Neil and told him to turn straight back around.
How can something so 'natural' be so hard? I'm perplexed how a phrase such as 'breast is best' came to be. No doubt it was invented by mothers with tiny angel babies who feed perfectly.
We decided to get a curry tonight to feel sane. We even got to watch tv for an hour before Albie kicked off for the night again. Still, it felt like a treat because that's what we used to do at weekends. It made me feel like I'm actually having one.

Monday 8 July 2013

Don't call me Daisy

Based on diary extract 18/4/11 (Albie 3 months)

I feel like a bloomin' dairy cow. This combination feeding malarky is all good and well when Albie behaves himself but trying to find time to express milk when he's kicking off every 5 minutes is a nightmare! It would actually be so much easier to breastfeed - if only he fed okay!!
I know what you're probably thinking, that I'm a quitter. That I should endure for the good of my baby and I would be just opting for an easy life if I quit (yes, and?!). Don't worry, I would've thought the same of me before all of this.
I mean, let me get this straight, I'm not a quitter. I took my driving test 5 times; I fell off my bike about 10 times learning to ride a bike... but this? This is draining. It's not even like there's an obvious reward at the end.
Still, I'm hoping I heal up and try and breastfeed again. I'm not quite done yet... though I have to say, it's probably more to prove to everyone else that I will do what's best for my son even if it kills me, just like every other mother, right?! Wouldn't want people thinking I'm a bad mum now would we??!

It's weird looking back on this diary entry and seeing how I change so much from one day to the other (after reading the day before!). If I ever did it again I would hope I would feel confident enough to make the right decision for me, not just because of what others thought of me. If you're going through something similar, you shouldn't feel guilty for the decisions you make as a mother because the fact that it's a concern to you means that you are a good one. 

Friday 5 July 2013

Booby Prize

Based on diary entry 17/4/11 (Albie 3 months)

So today I made the decision to give Albie a combination of expressed milk and formula. I feel like a weight has been lifted... literally. Well, two actually: the emotional one of feeling like I don't have enough food for him (and not having a clue how much he's getting) and obviously the physical one.
I don't think I care any more what people think of me for it. I'm over it. I've done my best for him and I've endured as much as I can take of the pain for long enough. Since I've made this decision I am happy and, in turn, Albie seems happier too.
The fact I'm expressing means that he's getting the best of both worlds and I am able to have help with the feeding... and maintain my boob job for the time being ;) Admittedly I am currently sat expressing which is still a bind, but hey, it's worth it. It's like I've won the lottery today... or some sort of booby prize at least.
I feel like this decision has been a total brain-wave, like I invented combination feeding or something. I guess I'm sick of having to choose between one or the other and then feel guilty either way. There is too much guilt put on mothers and I've had enough of it - as Lord sugar would say, I'm out. I'll take my booby prize and go.

What do you think about combined feeding?