At some point, everyone has heard a breastfeeding mom say she felt forced to pump breast milk because her husband, the grandmother, some sister-in-law, or that neighbor down the street wanted to give the baby a bottle. Or you’ve even heard someone pressure the formula feeding mama to hand over the bottle to someone else.
She was being selfish by being the only person who could feed the baby.
Or how about when you first get home and have to pass that baby off to everyone else, when all you want to do is cuddle in bed?
That feeling that everyone else has to be included. Or not just the feeling, but being pressured to make sure others get their turn.
Well Mama, I’m here to tell you something … be selfish with your time.
Many of us already work all day. If we are breastfeeding, then we are already being forced to pump and pass that bottle to someone else. We miss first words. We miss the first steps. Us working mamas miss many of the firsts.
So Mama, be selfish.
Don’t pump to make others happy. Or feel pressure to fix and bottle and hand it to someone else. Instead, take advantage of those small fleeting cuddly moments and feed your baby alone.
I even went so far as to nurse my baby in the nursery away from everyone.
Don’t feel pressure to pass your tiny baby off to someone else just because they want to cuddle the new baby. No, cuddle your baby yourself. Take advantage of those few hours you have every single day at home and ignore comments from those pesky relatives.
I even went so far as to be the only person who did the bedtime routine for the first year. I never let my husband in on my secret that our baby was so cuddly and loving in the evenings. No, I cuddled and went through bath time, stories, and evening nursing all alone.
Now when he found out the truth he immediately jumped in … but I don’t feel one ounce guilty about keeping that secret for so long.
In that first year, I gave into pressure from others. I thought I had to make others happy. But do you know what I learned? I don’t have to give into the pressure ever again.
I don’t care that someone drove so many miles to see us. You can hold the baby when I’m ready. Or how about hold the baby to help me. Give me time to shower, eat, or take a nap.
My main regret with my first child is that I didn’t hold him enough that first week home. I let others dictate my life. I don’t remember just laying down and cuddling this new squishy baby. All I recall is being pressured to let someone else hold him. I was being mean if I didn’t!
Oh the comments I got! They were terrible.
So to all the mamas that gave in like I did. I won’t do it again.
No, if we ever have another baby I will cuddle and nurse and ignore the outside world. And do you want to know why? Those people pressuring you to give over the baby, well, many of them already had their babies. They held their babies, and fed their babies.
It’s my turn to hold and feed my baby.
If that’s selfish, then I’m going to be selfish.