Motherhood Statement

Sunday, December 20

Welcome to Carnival of Breastfeeding. This month's carnival is all about taking care of yourself during the holidays (no small feat for moms). At the end of the post check out the listing of others who are also contributing to the carnival. Enjoy!

This is a great time of year.

The lights, the music, the food, the romantic depictions of holiday cheer in movies like Love Actually and novels (ahem) like Debbie Macomber's 'The Perfect Christmas'.

Hey, I'm under no illusion that my holiday will be anything like the chestnut scented festivities of these fictional worlds, but I do find comfort in their quietness and optimism. However, in my first year as a breastfeeding mama I'm also acutely aware of the challenges of the season. Many of us are impoverished by maternity leave budgets, sleep deprived by late night feedings, inundated by The Opinions of Others and overwhelmed by Our Own Expectations.

Oh hello, Opinions & Expectations. I haven't seen you much since The Wedding.

It's December, and this month brings with it a myriad of stresses and social commitments that expose these challenges. We wake up thinking about gift shopping, holiday parties and finding quiet corners in which to feed our little ones. On top of it all, we're exhausted from interrupted naps (anyone else with me on the screaming bedtimes?) and operating a 24-hour dairy farm.

Throw in domestic urges (Holiday Baking, Christmas Card Sending and Santa Clause Impersonating to name a few) and it's times like these that we find new respect for our own mothers.

In this hypercompetitive world of parenting, something we all have to work on (myself especially) is how we treat one another. So please, with the arrival of this festive month, we all need to relax a little. While you or a mother you know is pacing, shame-faced, as an otherwise cherubic angel screams bloody murder in her tired arms (I know, she's such a good baby and NEVER does this), remember that these are the holidays. Take it easy.

Don't judge (yourself or them). Don't wonder if the baby is getting enough milk or if the baby is being held the right way. Don't point out the milk stain or the hairs that frizzed out of the ponytail.

Don't think you should or do know better.

If there's anything that romantic comedies teach us, it's that nothing is perfect in our life story and shit happens (sometimes on Gramma's curtains). Just look at Twitter. For every supposed disaster, there's a discussion already happening about something far worse.

Either way, us parents need to stick together. Whether it's by social media, email, telephone or eggnog latte, we need to tell each other that we're doing a good job. That we're loving our kids and yes, that sometimes we're cleaning up poo.

Instead of grabbing your nearest piece of advice or that pound of self criticism, reach for the mint fudge. It will make a world of difference.

On that note, I'd just like to say 'Hey, you - keep up the good work' and have a happy holiday.



Other contributors to the Carnival of Breastfeeding:
Cave Mother: A Mother's Christmas
Mama Knows Breast: A Breastfeeding Poem: Twas the Breastfeeder's Nighttime
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Don't Forget the Pump!'s Breastfeeding 1-2-3: Breastfeeding and Dehydration
Hobo Mama: Breastfeeding and the holidays: How to take care of yourself
Mommy News & Views: The Holidays And Being A Breastfeeding Mom
Breastfeeding Mums: Looking After Yourself During the Holidays: 7 Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers
Motherwear Blog: Taking care of yourself during the holidays
Happy Bambino's Blog: How to Take Care of Ourselves During the Holidays
The Adventures of Lactating Girl: Breastfeeding and Holidays

Photos by jspad and napalm nikki

3 thoughts and opinions:

T. said...

Happy Holidays!
I agree - Christmas happens whether you bake or don't bake, whether you get your shopping done or not, and whether your kid sings in the Christmas concert or just picks their nose. It doesn't matter - need to relax and enjoy the wonder of the season (and a couple of eggnogs along the way).

Andi said...

So true... it's hard to pause at this time of year and keep a healthy perspective on everything.

Melodie said...

"Oh hello, Opinions & Expectations. I haven't seen you much since The Wedding." Made me howl. So true! I grew up with a mother who hated Christmas because of her own grandiose expectations that she never felt she could fill. I'm so glad it never rubbed off on me. To this day she laments the coming of the holidays, no matter how much we tell her to go easy on herself, she just can't help it. And then the stress she exudes! It comes out her pores I swear! Anyway, I thoroughly loved this. Thanks, and Merry Christmas to one of my favorite new bloggers!

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