The Grass is Not Always Greener
Unfortunately, many of the moms I work with are down on themselves. Whether it’s a sister, friend, or stranger across the room, they assume that other moms are far more competent and put-together. So often I hear variations of “I wish I had it as easy as this person” or “I just want the breastfeeding relationship she has.” The honest truth: every mom has her own successes and struggles.
One of my goals is to help moms understand and accept that their breastfeeding journey does not have to be identical to others. Motherhood isn’t a “cookie cutter” situation! Even when other people seem to have it all figured out and appear to have easy, agreeable babies, perception can be deceiving.
There will never be a “perfect” breastfeeding experience. I think that is what makes it so special. The bumps in the road, the imperfect latches, and the sleepless nights all contribute to your story.
A wonderful patient of mine recently said she “failed” at breastfeeding. Her words broke my heart. Where she saw a failure, I saw a strong mother who was determined to keep trying no matter the obstacle—including endless doctors’ visits, sleepless nights, and a baby coping with reflux. (This baby more than likely would have the same challenges, if not more, if fed with formula.) This was her story, and what she did not appreciate is that other moms likely envied her for her strength and persistence.
Motherhood is hard, breastfeeding is hard, and neither will ever be perfect. I say relish the good and bad equally. Even during the rough patches, remember that there will always be someone else wishing they had what you had, hoping their story will be like yours.
Updated October 20, 2016