Yesterday I cried so hard I gave myself a stomach ache and I’m not one to cry over much (apart from 24 hours in A&E which let’s face it, could make even the coldest of personalities melt). It was all going so well, I’d landed back in the UK after ten days in the mountains of Peru leading a work retreat. I had successfully managed to keep pumping whilst away from my daughter, which trust me, was a marathon effort in itself. Once home I couldn’t wait to sit quietly and breastfeed my daughter but just minutes in, she was angrily nuzzling my boob and seconds lately screaming with frustration. Nothing was coming out. She was upset and I was devastated but nothing could have prepared me for how upset and angry I felt when my husband pulled out a bottle and started to feed her.
I adore my husband but in that very moment, I absolutely hated him. I felt useless, heartbroken and totally lost as a parent. I suddenly realised that she no longer needed me. I had placed my value as a mum on being able to feed her. If I couldn’t feed her what was I supposed to do? How would she learn to like or love me?
Truth is, I left my daughter with my husband. The guilt of leaving her was huge and I was jealous of how well my husband and child dealt with it, they simply got on with things and I expected it to all fall into place once home. I was wrong. Looking back to the last couple of days, I am actually extremely grateful for the lesson I have learnt. I am more than just a breast and although I won’t always be needed, I will always be wanted and that’s what is important. Being a parent is so much more than one specific role, it’s about showing up and giving your love. Your child doesn’t need you to have your shit together, or to be the fittest mum, the cool mum or sustainable mum. They love you unconditionally and want you for you, remember that.
Photo credit: Kat Films.