Photo Credit:  Jade Beall Photography from the "Bottle and Breast" shoot.  Rise Like Air has no ownership of this photo.

Photo Credit: Jade Beall Photography from the “Bottle and Breast” shoot.
Rise Like Air has no ownership of this photo.

I was reading Jade Beall’s FB post yesterday which included a photo from her “Bottle and Breast” shoot.  It was of the most beautiful mom Maveny and her sweet twin boys Oliver and Elliot.  What struck me the most was how much guilt this mom felt for things that are the most natural and common experiences of mothers in the world.  Breast feeding isn’t always easy or possible, isn’t now, never was.  Bearing children has never been a walk in the park for most women. At some point whether it’s pregnancy, labour and delivery, child rearing or letting go – at some point, it’s going to get tough.  Fair warning.

Yet somewhere we’ve gone from trying to empower women and mothers to judging them.  Empowerment means doing what’s right for your baby, yourself and your family.  That does not mean what’s right for anyone else.

About not being able to carry her beautiful babies to term Maveny laments, “Right off the bat I felt guilty for not being able to carry them until they were bigger.” About not being able to nurse and having to pump instead, she remembers, “I felt at the time this was another failure.” And about having to stop pumping and begin feeding her boys formula, “I was disappointed, but I reminded myself that our journey is not going to look like everyone else’s.”  And finally the realization and acceptance, that,

There is nothing wrong with that. I got what was most important to me, that time back to hold them and whisper things to them and enjoy our time uninterrupted. I had finally found my stride as a mother. I had found my delight.

Too many of us are trying to find a way to be the perfect mother.  Do it all, do it right, do it now.  That’s the mantra unconsciously muttered by countless mothers. And as if we aren’t hard enough on ourselves, we’ve got another array of mothers and women and whoever else judging our every move, ready to pounce on the slightest perceived infraction to perfect mothering. Most of us have experienced at least one such look down your nose type of comment, such as, “We wouldn’t introduce a pacifier,” or “I never laid little Stevie on his stomach ever!” or “Always carrying a baby spoils her,” or maybe it was phrased as an innocent question, “She’s still not sleeping through the night?” or “You use formula?” or my favourite, “He’s still not potty trained?”

I’m all in favour of opinions, just not always sharing them in every circumstance. No matter how hard we try we’re going to end up doing some things better than others. Parenting, no matter how well read or versed, is all ways a little bit of trial and error and a little bit of trial by fire.

The best thing any of us can be is supportive and patient rather than judgemental.

As women some of us will choose to become mothers, some will choose not to while yet others will have it thrust upon them and some will only be able to dream.  As Maveny said, “our journey is not going to look like everyone else’s. There is nothing wrong with that.”

Maveny’s story started me thinking about the process of going from a woman to a mother and the wide range of experience that entails. In the end all I have to ask, are your children loved, healthy and thriving? Then let’s toss the guilt.

As a Woman,
You join, you love.
You conceive, you love.
You carry, you love.
You birth, you love.

As a Mother,
You nourish, you love.
You teach, you love.
You protect, you love.
You listen, you love.
You worry, you love.
You hope, you love.
You argue, you love.
You guide, you love.

You weep, you love.
You support, you love.
You release, you love.
You watch, you love.
You wait, you love.
You smile, you love.

You accept, you love.
You love, you love.
You love.

Y    L

O   O

U   V

      E

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air? Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

Advertisements