All Our Little Messes

Episode 6 - Breaking the 'Perfect Mom' Illusion: Embracing Real, Messy Motherhood

August 31, 2023 All Our Little Messes Season 1 Episode 6
Episode 6 - Breaking the 'Perfect Mom' Illusion: Embracing Real, Messy Motherhood
All Our Little Messes
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All Our Little Messes
Episode 6 - Breaking the 'Perfect Mom' Illusion: Embracing Real, Messy Motherhood
Aug 31, 2023 Season 1 Episode 6
All Our Little Messes

Motherhood can be a rollercoaster – moments of joy intertwined with instances of self-doubt, guilt, and pressure. We've all been there, right? Grab your tea and cozy up - let's talk about it. In this heart-to-heart episode of All Our Little Messes, we're challenging the cookie-cutter image of 'perfect mom' and embracing the beautiful mess that motherhood can sometimes be.

Ever felt like you're wearing too many hats? As a mom, a wife, an employee - the expectations can often feel overwhelming. Let's not forget our own wellbeing amidst this juggling act. We delve into the struggles of breastfeeding, particularly my personal journey with nursing a baby born with severe oral ties. The guilt, the judgment, the pressure - we lay it all bare. But remember this - it's okay to prioritize yourself. It's okay to choose mental health over societal norms. 

In our candid chat, we also tear down the myths around motherhood - breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, sleep training, and the dreaded parenting decisions. There's no rulebook to this, no 'right' way of being a mom. The only right way is your way. So tune in as we shatter the notion of 'supermom' and embrace the real, messy, wonderful journey of motherhood. Because perfection is overrated, isn't it? 

Support the Show.

If you like this show and believe in its message, please consider supporting our Patreon. For as little as $3/month, get access to behind the scenes content, early access to podcast episodes and more!

Send any questions or comments to allourlittlemesses@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you guys!

Subscribe to the newsletter here to get periodic updates on blog posts and more!

Buy Me a Coffee!

If you liked this episode, consider buying me a coffee! It'll help keep me awake during late night editing sessions. Thank you!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for behind the scenes content and everyday posts about parenting and marriage.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Motherhood can be a rollercoaster – moments of joy intertwined with instances of self-doubt, guilt, and pressure. We've all been there, right? Grab your tea and cozy up - let's talk about it. In this heart-to-heart episode of All Our Little Messes, we're challenging the cookie-cutter image of 'perfect mom' and embracing the beautiful mess that motherhood can sometimes be.

Ever felt like you're wearing too many hats? As a mom, a wife, an employee - the expectations can often feel overwhelming. Let's not forget our own wellbeing amidst this juggling act. We delve into the struggles of breastfeeding, particularly my personal journey with nursing a baby born with severe oral ties. The guilt, the judgment, the pressure - we lay it all bare. But remember this - it's okay to prioritize yourself. It's okay to choose mental health over societal norms. 

In our candid chat, we also tear down the myths around motherhood - breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, sleep training, and the dreaded parenting decisions. There's no rulebook to this, no 'right' way of being a mom. The only right way is your way. So tune in as we shatter the notion of 'supermom' and embrace the real, messy, wonderful journey of motherhood. Because perfection is overrated, isn't it? 

Support the Show.

If you like this show and believe in its message, please consider supporting our Patreon. For as little as $3/month, get access to behind the scenes content, early access to podcast episodes and more!

Send any questions or comments to allourlittlemesses@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you guys!

Subscribe to the newsletter here to get periodic updates on blog posts and more!

Buy Me a Coffee!

If you liked this episode, consider buying me a coffee! It'll help keep me awake during late night editing sessions. Thank you!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for behind the scenes content and everyday posts about parenting and marriage.

Sounds from Zapsplat.com

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to All Our Little Messes, a podcast focused on healing through intentional conversations about parenting, relationships, religion and more. I am your host, veronica Winrod, and I'm so happy to have you here listening in on my thoughts today. I hope you enjoy this episode. Hello and welcome back to All Our Little Messes.

Speaker 1:

This is episode number six and I am kind of recording this in a really weird mood, like it's been a very strange day. You guys and I honestly forgot that I was going to record this episode today until 10.45 at night. So I am sitting here with my tea now getting ready to record this, and I actually had an entirely different subject matter for you guys this week, until I was actually having a conversation with my husband earlier today and we were talking about me dyeing my hair, which is like it's something that he's been wanting me to do for a while now and just putting it off, because the thought of dyeing my hair one color just terrifies me. So I'd always compromise by like highlighting it or putting low lights, and he's really into red hair, so he wants me to dye my hair red. Crazy, I know, but here we are and we were talking about me dyeing my hair and I realized that I have not had a haircut like an actual legitimate haircut in over 10 months. And my kids have had haircuts. Either I gave them haircuts or we went and got them haircuts. They have had haircuts about once every two months or so. Their hair grows really fast, so about every six weeks to two months they get a haircut.

Speaker 1:

And it kind of led me on this whole thought process today about how we as mothers put aside our own our own needs, to the detriment of our own health, for the needs of everyone else in our family. And while I feel like some of that is something that is like hardwired into us and aately hardwired into us is just something that we naturally sacrificially do as mothers, a lot of that, I feel, is also society's expectations that we come off or perform this image of perfect motherhood, like you know, the motherhood that you see depicted on social media, right, and that is just a ridiculous standard. And then when you throw into it not only you know the standards we have on social media to be like this perfect mom with the perfect house or whatever right, you also throw in what a lot of evangelical Christians and traditional Catholics go through right, where we have to fulfill this image of super mom. You know the mom that smiles and says oh, yes, yes. When she walks into the supermarket or grocery store and someone says, my, you've got your hands full, like, the automatic response is yes, yes, there's such a blessing and you like big smiles, which, yes, children are such blessing. But it seems like we have this.

Speaker 1:

There's always this pressure right to come off as super mom. You've totally got it under control, nothing's wrong. I definitely ate breakfast this morning, my house is perfect and I definitely showered within the last two days. Like there's just this, this expectation in this image that we have to, we have to live up to, we have to uphold, otherwise we are seen as less than competent, we are seen as the hot mess mom. We are just not a good mom and that's.

Speaker 1:

That's kind of messed up. I mean I shouldn't be putting off getting my own haircut or putting off or like rescheduled. For instance, I rescheduled my prenatals, my prenatal appointment, because my sons had this gathering to go to and the oldest one had really been looking forward to it, and so I was like, okay, so I'll just reschedule my prenatal appointment. So I'm like rescheduling my own doctor's appointments so that my kids can go to a party, and like I was feeling guilty over the thought of me not rescheduling that appointment and I shouldn't feel guilty over that. Like this is a legitimate medical reason for me to go to the doctor. Okay, but I'm feeling guilty over going to the doctor because my son's going to miss a party and like part of it might be my upbringing, part of it could be my personality, but a lot of it really does have to do with this, this expectation that society has put on mothers of being the perfect mom and having everything together, and so that is something that I wanted to talk to you guys about today and kind of just put forward a couple of ideas that I've had to kind of fight against that mentality, because it needs to change for us All, right guys. So before we get into this, I wanted to put out a little bit of a disclaimer. Like I said earlier, I am in a little bit of a weird mood, so you might see a very sarcastic side of my personality come out today. So, yeah, just full disclosure. So I wanted to start off by talking about what I mentioned earlier, like this very high expectation of being super mom who totally has it together, before you've even been able to understand what being a mom is Now.

Speaker 1:

For me, that started basically when I was in the hospital right after I'd given birth to my first child. So I am in the hospital right and I have this tiny little newborn and I am exhausted. I was in labor for eight hours and I pushed for two of those hours and so I was just. I was exhausted and I just wanted to sleep. My husband was exhausted, he just wanted to sleep, and I gave birth in a very remote hospital. It was a very small hospital in Alaska, in rural Alaska, and so, like, the care that you receive in those kind of hospitals is very different from the care that you're going to receive in what we call down south. We called it down south, so in the lower 48, it's very different and, especially for moms, like the experience I didn't have at the time I didn't have anything to compare it to, but now that I do, now that I've had another child, like looking back, it was not a good experience and a lot of it had to do with the nurses and the doctor, without.

Speaker 1:

I mean, it was probably just a subconscious thing. They probably don't even realize they're doing this. But it's this expectation that I know already how to care for this child. And, like I said, I was exhausted, my husband was exhausted. We just wanted to sleep. I was so tired and I couldn't. But I couldn't put the baby down. Like every time I tried to put the baby down, the baby would cry, and so I'd be holding the baby and I would start falling asleep in the bed, right, because I was so tired but I couldn't put the baby down. And so in every single time I'd fall asleep, boom, there'd be a nurse inside of my room, like yelling at me for falling asleep with my baby in my arms, and so she would take the baby and she put the baby back in the bassinet and I was like first time mom, I didn't know how to stand up for myself. I didn't know how to say, hey, no, this is my child, this is my birth experience. I didn't know how to take ownership of it. So I just kind of went along with everything and they kind of just expected me to know how to calm this baby down. And I did not know how to calm this baby down and like I would have nurses come in and be like, oh well, why didn't you try this, why didn't you try that? And it's like at the time I was just like, oh, I didn't think of it, I guess Okay. And now I'm just like I didn't try that or this because I didn't know I needed to.

Speaker 1:

You're already putting this unfair expectation of perfection on me when I have been a mom for less than 24 hours, like I don't even know how to breastfeed my child. That's a whole nother. That's a whole nother topic. There was my breastfeeding journey with my first child was just an absolute nightmare, and it also is just a perfect example of this attitude that society has, that moms have to have it together, moms have to have to be perfect, and it starts in the hospital. It's ridiculous. Like we don't have it together, we don't know what we're doing. Brotherhood is a learned skill, but society does not give us the space or grace to do that. We can't, we're, we don't learn. We're never given the space to learn how to be a mom. And so we come out of the hospital and already there's this like this huge expectation of you have to have it all together, you have to know what to do and when something pops up with your baby or your newborn.

Speaker 1:

I have heard this story over and over and over again. I actually just received an email from a mom last week about the. She told me that her story, because of what Danica and I had talked about in episode five, where we talked about building a village, and I kind of gone into my birth story a little bit and like what had happened afterwards, and she emailed me and she told me what happened and like if anything happens after we give birth, we are made to feel like we have somehow failed, we didn't try hard enough, we didn't think of things enough, and so like it was so incredibly crushing for me as a new mom because I always felt like I was a bad mother and that I was never going to figure it out. And you know, if only I could do this or if only I could do that, then I would be a good mom, then I would be, you know, good enough for my son, and it just put me into this horrible, horrible cycle of just crushing defeat all the time because I could never live up to their expectations Like, for example, my son.

Speaker 1:

My first child had very severe oral ties and so, as a result, he couldn't. I breastfed both of mine kind of off and on, especially my first. But my first had very bad oral ties and as a result he couldn't nurse very well because he couldn't move. He literally couldn't move his tongue at all, so like when he would cry and his mouth would open, his tongue would be in the shape of a square because it was so rooted to the bottom of his mouth, like he had. He had cheek ties, he had lip ties, he had tongue ties in the back and in the front, like it was. It was all a mess.

Speaker 1:

And I remember in the hospital the pediatrician came in to check on him a couple hours after he was born and, like, dylan immediately started crying and the doctor was like, oh, it looks like he has a little bit of a tongue tie. And as a first time mom I had no idea what that meant. I didn't know what the possible repercussions of that would be, I didn't know how to process it information. So I was like, oh, okay, so he just has a tongue tie, big deal, whatever, moving on. And because that's what the doctor had done, he just like, oh, okay, whatever, he has a tongue tie and he moved on. He didn't address it anymore. He didn't talk about it, and so I had like, from that point on, like I struggled because he wouldn't latch, because he couldn't latch, because his tongue wouldn't move and so he had problems with weight gain. As a result, and Because he had problems with weight gain, I like they were always asking me how often are you nursing him?

Speaker 1:

And like that, always it made me mad when they'd asked me that question honestly, because it when I was in the hospital, the I, the nurses, had given me very conflicting information. I had one nurse tell me that I only had to feed the baby every five hours, and that seemed like really Crazy to me, like seemed like a really long time for a tiny little baby that only survives off of milk. I had one nurse tell me that the baby needed to eat every hour and then I had my mom telling me every two to three hours. So, like I had all this conflicting information my mom had had at that point, she'd had like 13 kids, 12, 13 kids, and I was just like you know what my mom said 12, 13 kids. She's breastfed them all. You know. I'm gonna kind of just take that. So I was.

Speaker 1:

I was setting timers From the start of the feed to the start of the next feed, and I was feeding him every two hours. So I like had all of this information in an app in my phone, like how much he ate, how long he would eat for, how often he was pooping, how often he was peeing the time between diaper changes, like the whole bit. I was recording Everything. And every time I go into the doctor they'd be like how often are you feeding him? Or I don't think you're feeding him often enough. He's obviously not getting enough to eat because he's not gaining weight.

Speaker 1:

And so then they started. They wanted me to supplement formula and we tried like eight or nine different formulas. I was getting formula from the doctor, I was getting from the different stores, I was getting it shipped in like I Was trying everything and my son hated them all. So my next step was to buy a best pump and I was pumping on top of nursing and that kind of just became my life. I was just Grounded to the couch and I was either pumping or nursing, 24-7 like that. That became my life, that became the sole purpose of my life. And and he still wasn't gaining weight.

Speaker 1:

And so I brought up one time to One of the doctors that was working there, our little clinic, and I was. I asked him I was like, hey, like I had a doctor in the hospital tell me he has a tongue tie, do you think that's it? And he's like, oh no, no, that definitely wouldn't affect the effect what's going on. And, and this doctor was always pushing for like blood draws and things like that, and I Finally I was able to get his primary caregiver to take a look and she took a look. She's like, oh yeah, he does have one. And so they. They didn't have any ENTs or anybody in office there, because, again, this is rural Alaska, this is a tiny little clinic, and I mean it was in a town of 700 people, 750 people, something like that. So they had somebody come in. They clipped the tie because he was still only like a month and a half, two months, old at this point, and it got better, but it still wasn't fixed, like he still wasn't gaining enough weight.

Speaker 1:

And so finally, after the point where one of the doctors there Told me he had failure to thrive, in that they were, they wanted to do a bunch of blood work to see if there was something else. That was wrong. And so they Did a bunch of blood work and he had he had like elevated liver enzymes, which, with knowing what I know now, an elevated liver enzymes in a baby is. It really means nothing because they have nothing to, they have no skill to compare it to. From what I understand I was talking to another doctor and I guess they have nothing to compare no, no scale to compare liver enzymes in an infant too. So when you Do a blood draw in a baby and it says that they have elevated liver enzymes, that scale is compared to an adult and it's actually fairly common for babies to have elevated liver enzymes in their blood.

Speaker 1:

But this doctor like freaked out immediately and like started throwing things around like liver cancer, liver disease, and I Was just like whoa, that's, that's crazy. And I I made the mistake of telling him I wanted a second opinion and that really really made him mad and he was actually one of the first people to ever, kind of offhandedly, accuse me of being a bad mom because I didn't immediately take his advice and I wanted, I wanted a second opinion Because he was throwing things around like no, liver cancer, liver disease, and he wanted to Minovacus up to the hospital, and so I. We ultimately decided to fly up to the hospital in in Alaska, the hospital that that was closest associated with this clinic. We flew up there and for the next five days they did so. They did one blood draw the first day. We were there for five days and for five days all they did was have me feed him on a schedule and then weigh his diapers afterwards. For five days, and it was so exhausting mentally because I was constantly hearing from people you're not feeding him enough. He's obviously not getting enough. There's something wrong with you. What are you doing? You need to fix this. You need to fix that.

Speaker 1:

I had one doctor. I had a doctor that I actually fired because she came in and told me that I was ignoring doctors advice, even though I was doing everything they told me to do. I was ignoring doctors advice, obviously because my son wasn't getting better and I got so mad. Another nurse came in and I told the nurse to get that doctor out of here and I never want to see her again. And so they had another doctor come in a couple hours later and she basically behaved the same way as the first doctor, but instead she literally did say the words you are a bad mother, your son has failure to thrive and you are a bad mother. And I had a nervous breakdown on the floor. I just fell apart and she just walked away. She just left and the next morning they had called someone in a psychiatrist, in to talk to me, and at that point I had also called my husband in to fly in because he was down south. I called my husband in because I was like I need backup, so he came in and I told the psychiatrist what was going on. I told them my story. I called for a patient advocate.

Speaker 1:

It was getting ridiculous like I was in a hospital paying to be there just so they could weigh my son's diapers, but they weren't actively doing anything to figure out what was wrong, so they were just racking up these bills and calling me a bad mother simultaneously. It was probably one of the worst and most isolating experiences of my life and I finally finally got a nurse to listen to me. I mentioned again that there had been a tongue-tie and so she looked in his mouth and thankfully thankfully she did have experience because her, one of her kids had had a tongue-tie, and this was a nurse I'd never seen before. On the five days I was there I'd never seen her on the floor, so she was new and I got her to listen to me and she looked in his mouth and she's like, oh my goodness, I was like, well, they already snipped it. She's like, well, they didn't do anything. Like this is like one of the worst cases I've ever seen. So she was amazing. So she and the patient advocate like fought really hard for me and I was able to get a referral to a pediatric dentist up in Juneau and so like.

Speaker 1:

After that I was finally able to start getting somewhere and he was able to have laser surgery and he we fixed all of his cheek ties and tongue ties and lip ties and it was so it was a mess. The tie in front had started to grow back and it was actually like a chunk of cartilage in it, like it was. It was so strong it was insane. I was also able to connect with a electation consultant and she was able to help me because both of us Dylan both Dylan and I, my son and I basically had to relearn the whole nursing experience because the way he'd been latching before was wrong, but he'd been doing it that way because his tongue and his mouth were so anchored and so tied up so we had to relearn how to nurse and that took like a month to relearn all of the right you know, muscle memory and stuff.

Speaker 1:

And I like that experience taught me so much because I was struggling so much as a new mom, okay, and I didn't have it together. I had no idea what I was doing and I had an entire team of medical professionals, say for like one or two, all telling me I was doing a terrible job as a mom and I was obviously doing something wrong. I was obviously doing something that was hurting my baby and when, in fact, they hadn't been actually giving good medical care, they hadn't been paying attention to their patient, they just assumed that I was doing something wrong. They, when they were doing an exam, they would just weigh him and that was it. Only when he was three months old did they actually start to look into stuff and you know that was when they did the blood draw and stuff. But I had been nagging them almost every week up until that point about his tongue ties and they never did anything, said anything or acknowledged what I was saying, not even once. But you know, they made me feel like a bad mom and a terrible person. And one of them, somebody called CPS on me. I actually got a phone call. The phone call was made, so the report to CPS was made in in May and I didn't get a phone call from from them until September.

Speaker 1:

And like I was talking to the social worker and I was like this is very concerning, because I was like one, my husband and I bent over backwards for our kid. We were at the doctor's office every single week doing weekly check-ins for three months. We went up to a hospital for a solid week just to, you know, have our kids diapers weighed and that's it. I mean, we bent over backwards for our son and yet someone turns around, calls CPS on us, when only a quarter mile away we have drug dealers living inside of a mobile that needs to be torn down, with kids floating in and out of the house all day long and not a thing is done for them.

Speaker 1:

So, like there is, there was just this huge expectation of absolute perfection, and you have to have it figured out now. Just thrust on me when I had no idea what to do. I had no idea what to do. And they totally took advantage of that and so, like that was my first experience with the whole expectation of being supermom who totally has it all together, knows exactly what she was doing and has it all figured out, and I didn't. I was still learning and nobody was helping me learn. So, yeah, I had that.

Speaker 1:

And then I believe I was only, let's see, six, seven months postpartum and I had somebody ask me oh okay, so now that you're done relaxing, now that you're done relaxing, when are you going back to work? And, like I said, I was only like six or seven months postpartum and I was just like I'm not going back to work, like my baby's only six or seven months old, and at that point, like I didn't really need to go back to work. We kept our expenses pretty low, so and the economy was still pretty decent, so there wasn't, I didn't need it, we didn't need me to go to work yet. And so I was like, oh, I'm not going to work. And the person kind of just looked at me and he's like what do you do all day?

Speaker 1:

And I was just like I take care of a baby, like I'm a mother, I take care of the house like it's a full-time job, caring for kids and caring for infants, like this isn't kickback and watch Netflix all day long, like I never had a moment to myself. It was like incessant. Then you know this expectation that you have to meet the needs of other people. And you do have to meet their needs, because they are very loud little people and so if you don't meet their needs, it's like it's very loud. So I yeah, there was like this, this. It was weird. It was just so weird to me that I had to not only have a full-time job as a mother, but people didn't see that as a job. So I had to go back to work, so I had to be a full-time mom, I had to be a full-time wife, I had to have a full-time job. Only then was I considered worthy and like enough. Then I was actually contributing to society.

Speaker 1:

According to the attitude of this person and this is not something that's just isolated to this one person. You see this all the time, all over the place, and this is why moms are falling apart, because there's this expectation from society to completely ignore their own needs, their own mental health needs, and you have to be everything. You have to be full-time mom, you have to be a full-time wife, you have to be a full-time employee and somehow have enough mental and emotional capacity to meet the needs of everyone else around you, and everybody else ignores your needs. And so I started running into that because, yeah, people would ask me when are you going back to work? Because I had worked before I had my son.

Speaker 1:

And people would ask me when are you going back to work? And I'd be like I'm not, I can't, I can't mentally handle that. I can't be a mom and work full-time. It's physically impossible. I breastfeed my kid, won't take a bottle, and so I can't leave him at daycare. And the daycare where we lived was just, it was not the greatest, and so I was just like, yeah, I'm just not gonna work until he's older or until we need it. It's just not gonna happen.

Speaker 1:

And I had so many people be like, oh, you've got it so easy. It was just it's so messed up. It's so messed up that people don't accept or aren't willing to accept that you have as much value being a mom and being a wife as you do in being an employee in the workforce. You have as much value, but there is nothing wrong with it and like, yeah, so there's this just ridiculous expectation of, of doing it all right Mom, wife, employee and during the pandemic they threw school teacher on top of that. So we had mom, wife employee, school teacher, and then let's not forget that you had to be the school teacher but also had to be the employee who showed up for work every day. So I don't try to explain the logistics of that one, because it was. Yeah, there was a nightmare, at least, where I lived like people trying to figure out school while also going to work. It was just, it was just, it was insane.

Speaker 1:

And so, yeah, there's definitely this, this damned if you do, damned if you don't thing. You know, and it even comes down to you know the basics in in how you're raising your child as well, like breastfeeding versus formula, sleep training versus, you know, bed sharing. You know organic food versus non-organic food. Do you make your own baby food or do you go buy it yourself? Like, do you take your kid to McDonald's or do you only cook him hot? You know home cooked meals and it's, it's. So you know if you take your kid to McDonald's, oh, you're a terrible lazy mom who's feeding your kid poison if you only feed your kid home cooked meals. Well, aren't you lucky that you have a husband who works hard enough for you to be able to buy all those ingredients? So it's like, like I said, damned if you do, damned if you don't. There is no, you're a good mom for taking care of your kids to the best of your ability. There is none of that.

Speaker 1:

So, like with the count, with the breastfeeding versus formula, this is gonna be a very hot topic for some people and people aren't gonna like what I'm about to say. Some people are not gonna like what I'm about to say, but I have had to use formula. I've had to use it with my, my oldest, like I mentioned in the beginning of this podcast, and I don't understand why some moms are so vilified over the fact that they use formula, because I'm not like a 100% believer in the whole. Fed is best thing, because you know there is this, you know there is a line there. Like you, we do need to try to feed our kids what's best for our bodies, kind of thing. So like we go out of our way to buy organic food for our kids but we don't formula into them, like I mean there does need to be a balance.

Speaker 1:

But you're not a bad mom if your kid is formula fed, and like on all these Facebook groups Facebook groups are the absolute worst when it comes to this kind of thing and like, the attacks against mothers most often, from what I've seen, come from other mothers, which is just absolutely horrible. Like other mothers should should know the struggles that you know mothers face in life trying to raise their kids. But hold on one second, I'm gonna take a drink of tea. But they, yeah, just run after moms and attack moms, for you know, feeding their kids formula when they have no idea what the circumstances are behind that decision and trying to breastfeed, especially if you have no idea what you're doing, like I did.

Speaker 1:

Like the only reason I stuck with breastfeeding for so long, when I struggled so hard, like it would have been so much easier for me to find a formula that my kid would take and just do formula, like it would have been so much easier. The only reason I stuck with it was because I had this, this mantra, chanting in the back of my head that you have to breastfeed your kid because formula is poison and I'm gonna, you know, basically be killing my kid if I formula fed him and, looking back, if I had stopped breastfeeding, it probably would have. It definitely would have been better for us both, like it would have been better for him physically and it would have been better for me mentally because I struggled so hard trying to breastfeed my son because I thought it was the only thing I could do because if I didn't I was gonna be a bad mom. And so, like, if you're, if you're struggling with breastfeeding and you're struggling with your mental health because of it, just stop, just stop, stop breastfeeding, just stop. If you have to switch to formula because your mental health is suffering from trying to breastfeed, just stop and switch to formula. Like your kid needs to be fed and he needs to have a healthy mom who is also mentally healthy and can actually take care of him and have a full presence in his life and not be a zombie because she's just so dead, tired or focused on trying to like forcing the breastfeeding issue or or whatever. Just just stop and do its best for you as well. So, and that's that's like a very big issue for me too, it's just, it's just a very I don't know. I feel very strongly about that because I've run into it myself and then in other moms as well, where we felt forced into it or felt that we couldn't quit before, like you know, a certain timeline.

Speaker 1:

Everybody like in like the circles I come from everybody in breastfeeding until at least two years old and I weaned my oldest at 17 months, 16, 17 months, and I got so many side looks like, so much side eye from that and just like why, why do you, why did you wean him so early? And I was just like because it was painful, it hurt, I didn't want to do it anymore, I was exhausted, it was annoying, I hated every second of it. I didn't look like. Everybody talks about how magical breastfeeding is and for me, like I've never experienced that you know how magical breastfeeding is because for me personally, it's just like this I honestly don't like it, but I do it because, you know, I feel like it's best nutritionally for for the kids, so that's why I pushed so hard for it and so, yeah, I just I don't know like I feel like like, if it's really that difficult, then just stop. If your body is like like mine was, like was just had this feeling of absolute rejection, like I don't want to do this anymore. I'm dying over here. Just stop, stop doing it. Just stop.

Speaker 1:

I mean, if you, if you really feel the need for your child to to be breastfed, then buy a breast pump. They're actually breast pumps on the market. I've actually I've invested in, if you, there are breast pumps on the market that are actually very comfortable. They're not painful and you barely feel like you're hooked up to anything. You will still feel like you are a milking cow. I'm sorry there is no way around that one, but they are more comfortable than breastfeeding sometimes, so that is an option. If you're not breastfeeding, a formula is not something that you want to switch to.

Speaker 1:

So another another point of contention that people really really get after is the whole sleep training versus bed sharing talk topic. Oh boy, like I have seen some of the worst hate and vitriol on social media over this sleep training versus bed sharing. Like you're not allowed to sleep train your kid because sleep training is abuse, right, but you can't bed share because that's considered unsafe for the child. So then, because you can't sleep train your baby and you can't bed share with them, you're kind of left in this limbo in between, like, okay, so what can I do? What am I allowed to do if I can't sleep? Train my baby to sleep without me, but I can't sleep with him in my bed. Do I just walk around, stay awake for the rest of my life and hold him and let him sleep in my arms while I stay wide awake? Like there's just no winning? There's no winning, like you can't be good enough for anyone, you can't do anything well enough for anyone.

Speaker 1:

And that's why I am starting to get to a point in my life and I started getting like this about two years ago, after my my second child was born where I was just like you know what, I just don't care anymore. I'm gonna do what's best for me and my child, and if the rest of the world has a problem with it, that's okay, because, honestly, nothing happens when you're offended. Nothing happens. There isn't a unicorn that drops dead, no puppies die. Nothing happens, except your feelings are hurt or, you know, your opinions are challenged, that's it. That's all that happens. And that is honestly something I can live with if that means that my peace of mind is going to still be intact, if I'm still gonna be able to get sleep at night, if I'm going to still be able to breastfeed my child without losing my mind. If I'm gonna be able to do all those things, that's great, that's perfect. And if you're offended over that, I'm sorry, but life goes on.

Speaker 1:

Because we can't, it's impossible to fulfill everyone's expectations of being supermom who totally has it together. One everyone has a different opinion of what supermom is. I mean, you've got you've got the evangelical Christians who think supermom is the mom who has 13 perfectly well-behaved, for perfectly clean, perfectly coiffed children, who never stopped by the line. And then you've got the super moms who try the soccer van, this. You know that. You've got the soccer mom who's got the five to six kids and goes to a million events and is pulling her hair out and is secretly on you know two or three antidepressants. I mean it.

Speaker 1:

Actually I feel like a lot of these ones are beyond antidepressants, or at least anti-anxiety meds, because it's just, it's too much. It's too much like we shouldn't we, we shouldn't be made to feel and be forced to carry all of this, this load, and be so many different things for so many different people and ignore our own, our own needs on top of it, like as moms, I do feel like we are called to sacrifice for our children but at the same time, like you, can't pour from an empty cup. We have to have something to give, and so we do need to set boundaries and we need to make time for ourselves. I need to go get my hair cut and maybe I will go dye my hair red. We will definitely think about about the daring my hair red, we will think about the red.

Speaker 1:

But make make time for yourself because, like I said, like I just said, you cannot pour from an empty cup and so, like your kids aren't going to receive anything or or grow to be, you know mentally healthy people if their mom is constantly frazzled and you know, faking it till she makes it kind of thing like we can't, we can't do it. It's not something that we can, we can uphold, it's just it's physically and mentally impossible for any human being to do so. Just remember to take care of yourself and try and I know this last one is really hard and I I definitely struggled with myself is try to ignore society's expectations of you, because they honestly don't matter like as long as your kids are healthy, happy and clothed and fed and emotionally cared for. You're a good mom like you're a good mom, your kids don't you know back to school craze. They don't need the latest and greatest backpack, they don't need a whole new wardrobe, like they don't need any of that stuff. And if it's causing you, like huge amounts of stress to do the whole back to school thing, don't do it, because your kids are going to be just as healthy and just as happy using last year's backpack and having only one or two new outfits, and they would be with a brand new backpack and a whole new wardrobe. Your cup is going to be full because you don't have to deal with that stress. Their cup is going to be full because they have a happy mom and so like. We have to remember to also take care of ourselves and that's like the biggest message I want to put out today in today's episode is is just like, remember to be, to be happy and to be mindful of, like, your own mental health on top of everyone else's.

Speaker 1:

I hope you enjoyed today's episode on the mental load that women carry. I got a little bit carried away there at a couple points. I told you today's episode was going to be a little bit different. I was very sarcastic at some points and I do apologize, but you know. There we have it. Just a quick reminder.

Speaker 1:

I do have a Instagram and Facebook that I run. I would love it if you all would go and follow me there. My handle on Instagram is at all our little messes and I just post like little blips on parenting and marriage and relationships and life and little, just like little thoughts and tidbits that I have that I come up with throughout the day. So I would love if you would all would go and follow me there and I will see you guys all next week. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of all our little messes. Please let us know how much you enjoyed it below and add any questions you have about this episode. Also, don't forget to follow us on patreon for amazing exclusive perks, including early access to podcast episodes and bonus episodes every month. We've also recently added a support group for all of our paid patrons. You could check us out on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates and insights that mirror podcast topics. Thank you for listening and we'll see you next week.

Challenging the Perfect Mom Expectation
Struggles With Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding
The Challenges and Judgments of Motherhood
Breastfeeding and Formula Feeding Struggles
Navigating the Demands of Motherhood