Any mother out there, whether you’re a first time mummy or a mummy with a number of children , each one of you will know this feeling all too well. There are many things we come across in parenting that can make us feel like we’re failing and that we’re doing something wrong (when in fact there is no specific right way to do certain things).
I feel there is so much pressure of having to do something so right and by the “book” as they say, But in fact nobody is perfect , and there are no instructions that come with parenting and we have to take each day and each struggle that we may face one step at time. So many parents fall victims of the “mummy police” – mummy police to me are the mothers who think they know what is ultimately right and slate you for doing something completely different (to their standards) which is so wrong as all mothers should stick together and ultimately support one another.
Feeling like a failure as parent completely sucks, it makes you feel as if you’re not good enough to be your child’s parents and that they deserve so much better than you, it brings you down like a ton of bricks. I’m a first time mummy myself and I have come across this feeling quite a lot. There are just so many different situations that you experience that may leave you feeling this way.
On that note allow me to share with you some personal experiences that have left me feeling like a failure at the lowest point myself and Im sure that many of you may be able to relate to them.
A mother who breastfeeds their baby I completely applaud you (your doing such a wonderful thing for your baby) i personally feel that breastfeeding is just amazing. You can feed your baby with something that your body have created just for them. I have nothing against people who chose to bottle feed with formula milk as long as your baby is getting fed , to me that’s all that matters & you to are doing a great job. I mean whatever situation you’re in with feeding getting up through the night when you’re so sleep deprived anyway deserves some credit because it is not easy.
I do also formula feed my baby as well as breastfeeding him, this is due to some breastfeeding issues that I recently come across so I had to use formula milk to top up Corey’s feeds.
Ever since I was pregnant with Corey and when he was born I always wanted to breastfeed. I wanted that connection along with that extra special bond that you get from breastfeeding. Luckily Corey had latched on straight away first time, which I know for some women their babies do not latch on & if at all. I can’t seem to put it into words how breastfeeding your baby makes you feel it’s just nothing but pure love. Unfortunately for me , quite recently Corey had his 3rd set of immunisations which made him very poorly. He did not want to feed via breast or bottle and ever since that day he had struggled to latch back on. I don’t quite know why this has happened & of course I have spoken to my health visitor who’s really lovely who explained that sometimes these situations happen and sometimes they just don’t latch back onto the breast and in some situations they just don’t want to breastfeed anymore.
This news filled me with great sadness and it broke my heart as I love to breastfeed my baby & I wasn’t ready for him to completely stop even if he was ready. Corey did want to feed off my breast but he just couldn’t latch back on the way that he used to and he became very frustrated. He would just scream and cry hysterically to the point I had no choice bar to make him up a quick formula feed (I didn’t express at the time). Again I sought help from a breastfeeding support worker who told me that everything I was doing was correct , from the way I was positioned & the way I was holding Corey, I was doing everything absolutely fine but still Corey was having none of it.
From doing something so well without any hiccups to then something like breastfeeding had completely stopped out of the blue took me by surprise. I was so heartbroken so upset that I felt as if I was doing everything wrong or I was going wrong somewhere but couldn’t figure out what it was. I remember sitting there one evening after attempting to breastfeed Corey , (again he was screaming hysterically because he didn’t want to latch on) and I was overcome with feeling like a rubbish mum, I sat there thinking to myself “Do Corey even like me anymore? Is this the reason he don’t want to latch on anymore? What am I doing so wrong for him to be like this out of blue?” It was just so confusing especially for someone like myself who breastfed since day 1 and never knew anything different. I ultimately felt as if I failed.
I have formula fed Corey ever since that day he decided not to do it but leading up right up until today we always try to latch him back onto the breast. Luckily for us in the end he did latch back on but now Corey will only breastfeed first thing in the morning and at night time before bed. We have tried latching him back on throughout the day but he just isn’t interested. I’m sure this is down to Corey weaning now and tasting all the new foods and also learning all these new things throughout the day and his brain is too stimulated by all his toys and all the different sounds. I feel as if I have failed him by not ultimately giving him the “BEST” milk possible all day everyday.
I did try expressing my milk but that was a complete fail also. I was finding that I wasn’t expressing enough for Corey’s feeds and I would get so stressed about not being able to express enough for him. Every time I saw how little milk I was expressing it would make me feel rubbish about myself that I couldn’t even express so much milk , so I decided not to go down that route any longer as it wasn’t worth all the stress that was affecting myself and also my family.
Have any of you had any troubles with breastfeeding where your baby just decided not to want to do it anymore so you’ve had to formula feed or combi-feed to top up their feeds. or have any of you not been able to even give breastfeeding a go and has been left feeling like they have failed somehow – I’d love to hear about your stories.
The next situation that makes anyone feel like they have failed is :
When your baby cries there is like some kind of list that you go through and then you repeat every step a few times to double check to see if its that reason That your baby is crying
1. Is your baby Hungry ?
2. Do they need a Nappy change ?
3. Are they Tired ?
4. Are they Too hot ?
5. Are they Too cold ?
6. Are they bored ?
All of the list above are the top reasons why a baby will be crying. So to figure out why your baby is crying you check these steps and sometimes repeat them a few times to initially figure out what they want.
Yes I know – if only it was that easy!
There is nothing worse than your baby crying and you just can not figure out for the life of you why they are crying. You do the list and repeat it for what seems to be like a million times over and over again and still nothing is working, they’re still crying this time getting more Inconsolable. You start acting like a complete monkey jumping around making silly noises to make them laugh or even smile (or is that just me ?) , and still it hasn’t worked your baby is still crying!
You get to the point where you just want to scream yourself as you just do not know what is going on or what they even want. Of course it’s supposed to be a mothers job to know and work out what is wrong with your own child but sometimes it’s just not that easy. And for anyone out there who says bringing up a child is easy they’re clearly talking “BS” – it is not easy at all hence why there is no step by step guide to show you or tell you how to do certain things and deal with certain situations.
(oh how easy would it be if there was a guide to tell you how to do this etc )
When you can’t figure out why your baby is crying you feel rubbish. You feel so low and so much more of a failure than before. Why can’t you stop your baby from crying when your there to protect them and find out why they’re crying? You feel again as if your doing something wrong somehow when you’ve just tried everything possible to stop them from crying.
I remember being in a situation where Corey was crying so hysterically for a good 2 hours for no reason what so ever , I just did not know what he wanted I tried everything I could possibly think of and still he was having none of it.
I remember feeling so upset that I couldn’t figure out why he was crying and to top it off which made me feel a million times worse , Corey’s daddy Tyler comes home from work takes over and within a few seconds he stops crying! I mean seriously come on now! What on earth was I doing so wrong ? Did Tyler have some sort of magic healing powers to stop him from crying because I sure as hell would love to know! It made me feel even worse, i just remember telling Tyler a few times that night that I think Corey hates me and how he must hate me because why would he cry with me and then be perfectly fine with him the next ?
I’m pretty sure most mummys and daddys go through the situation where they feel like a failure or even feel like a rubbish parent and just want to give up all hope because they can not get their child to stop crying or even most of the time get their child to sleep. I have been in a number of situations especially within the first month or two of Corey’s life where I feel as if he hated me where he was always crying on me and then instantly he would stop crying when he’s with someone else. It really do make you feel as if you have failed as a parent , but it’s crazy because the very next day or sometimes in a few hours or so , somehow you pick yourself back up like you have “mummy powers” and you just get on with the day to day things again and start all over again like nothing had happened.
Being a mother and being a parent is a hard job there are so many things that we have to do and experience to be able to possibly learn and grow from. & As much as every parent like myself experience these hard patches and sometimes feel the way we do – we wouldn’t change it for the whole world. I know personally As much as I want to scream sometimes all Corey has to do is look at me with his big blue eyes and his cheeky little smile and everything instantly feels so much better even if he is being a monkey and not going to sleep when he should or he’s just crying for no reason etc – Corey is worth every tear , every little bit of stress & I feel so lucky to have him. ?
Each and everyone one of you out there are doing a fab job , even if you get into a situation where you feel as if you can’t do it anymore and want to give up right there and then. just keep up what your doing because remember seeing your children smile & be happy is all down to YOU and your LOVE . . .
Thank you for reading
Lots of love – Steph -xx