Originally written July 2019 by our Doula Bertie and shared here to normalise the experience.
"I'm tired". It's a statement, not an invitation to my family to criticise my decision to persevere with pumping and attempting to breastfeed.
When I'm asked "how are you?" , I reply "I'm tired", because that's how I am, I'm not looking for sympathy or complaining, I'm being honest. My husband has 3 younger sisters, I'm being honest with them, they're seeing the good (baby fat rolls, baby smiles), the bad (mastitis, nipple thrush), the ugly (exhausted tears over third outfit change in five minutes when baby poops on first outfit then pees onto second and vomits on third). I won't lie and say everything is great when I'm overwhelmed and struggling. I get really upset when as soon as I say I'm tired family immediately suggest I stop pumping/attempting to breastfeed. That is not help. That is not support. That makes my anxiety levels go through the ceiling and causes me stress.
How about instead
"I'll change the baby's nappy, you just sit on the sofa" Or
"Give me a shopping list of groceries you need, I'll pick it up for you" Or
"I noticed full laundry basket, I'll do that ironing for you"
There are so many other tasks associated with being a mom to newborn, why do people jump to 'stop breastfeeding' as a 'solution'. It's not a solution.
I'm tired of the same argument, I'm tired of defending my choice, I'm tired of not feeling supported.
And I will persevere and I will show them all that it can be done, even without their support.
To any other mom reading this and feeling tired, it will get easier, not today, or tomorrow, probably not next week either, but it will get easier, and you won't be tired forever.
My baby is my motivation, how could I not give him the best, I'm tired and it's worth it.