The list of messages and questions we receive as parents from well-meaning friends and family is pretty long.
· Breast is best
· Motherhood is the best time of your life
· Enjoy this time now because it goes by so fast
· Are they reaching their milestones?
· When are you having another baby?
For a new mother this can be very overwhelming. This can often lead to selling out or in other words doing a lot of things we really don’t want to be doing. I found myself doing things out of guilt or pressure. I wanted the best for my baby and didn’t realize I could do things a different way, be happy, and still be give the best to my baby.
I’ve stumbled upon more and more articles talking about mothers who made a choice to either stop breastfeeding or never to start. The mothers in these articles identified what breastfeeding cost them emotionally and made a choice to stop. The message is that sometimes breast is not best. I love the mothers that dared to come forward to share about their decision to stop breastfeeding and how that decision was right for them.
When I work with mothers, I listen to what they really want or don’t want. This often requires a lot of work exploring limiting beliefs and clearing out the gunk in their heads (shoulds, guilt, obligation, etc.) One mother felt tremendous guilt for taking time away from her baby to have fun with her friends. Another mother believed that her role as a stay-at-home mother meant she was supposed to do all the cooking and cleaning even though she despised how much time she spent in the kitchen.
Once we cleared away whatever story was playing in their heads about why they needed to continue doing what they didn’t want to do or not doing what they wanted to do, a true desire emerged. Then the fun begins when I invite the possibility of that desire becoming a reality no matter how impossible it may seem to them at first. I also propose the idea that a happy mom is worth so much more to her baby than a mother who is burdened with “shoulds” and obligations.