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The Bad Mummy versus Good Mummy discussion…

Something’s been bothering me for a while and I need to get it off my chest. As a new Mummy I’m trying to do the best that I can for my little boy. He’s doing fabulously well, he’s growing at an alarming rate rapidly growing out of his 3-6 month old clothes, he’s a happy little chap who’s always got a smile for his Mummy and Daddy and everyone else who smiles his way. He’s a fantastic sleeper, he’s coming on leaps and bounds developmentally and I’m sure he’s said “Mumma” once or twice this week (it definitely sounds like mumma but who knows if he actually meant to say mum) so why, sometimes do I feel like such a bad Mummy.

I’m getting really annoyed with the overwhelming pressure from other people, organisations and the Government that I’m a bad Mummy making poor choices for my son. Why do I feel like this? Let me explain…

Breastfeeding versus Formula Feeding

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I always wanted to breastfeed my baby. Unfortunately for me this didn’t happen. He latched on in hospital for his first ever feed but that was it, I  breastfeed my baby boy for a pathetic 20 minutes. It wasn’t for the lack of trying but he just wouldn’t latch on again. He wasn’t interested. I should of persevered but I was too tired, I was in pain and uncomfortable and I was numb in parts of my body from the neck down for a good 12 hours post section. I was under pressure to feed my baby whether it was the good stuff or the artificial stuff.  Yes, I know he got the good stuff initially and I’m so glad he did. He had his first few mouthfuls of colostrum but the guilt I feel for not trying hard enough to breastfeed my baby is overwhelming. A visit to the baby clinic reminds me I’m not good enough with the posters on the wall, the signs on the shelves that the British Government recommend breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a babies life and the artificial stuff you’re about to buy to feed your baby is not recommended. So yes, I’m a bad mummy that I feed my baby formula. I’m such a bad mummy that he’s happily sitting on the 50 centile line for his weight at 23 weeks and I’m such a bad mummy that my Son will happily drink ready made ‘off the shelf’ formula when he’s hungry. I could rant all day long on this subject but I know nothing will ever change. The pro-breastfeeders will tell me I didn’t try hard enough and that I should of asked for support. I did. I asked my midwife for help and she gave me a phone number! I was too ashamed to call to admit that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t breastfeed my son and I felt like a failure. There have been lots of tears and no matter how much people tell me to look at how happy Little Mr is today doesn’t take away the guilt I feel for not trying harder to breastfeed my baby.

Weaning: Baby Led or not?

I asked a few weeks back about advice on weaning and I was overwhelmed with the advice. Thank you if you left me a comment, I read them all, read quite a few blog posts on the subject and decided to go with my heart and wait until Little Mr showed me some signs that he was ready. I’ve just begun to feed him his first tastes of puree,  yes puree from a well known baby foods brand, not chunks of carrot, mango or banana and already I’ve faced some backlash about baby led weaning and feeding my baby crap from a carton. Little Mr isn’t a hungry baby. He rarely cries for his bottle and although he has begun to watch us eat our dinner he doesn’t reach out for it. My initial concerns for starting baby led weaning for Little Mr is that as a baby how does he know he can chomp and break foods down with his gums when he’s only used to liquid. I don’t want him to get a bit carried away and take too much in his mouth and choke so I’m going to be feeding him puree. It’s my decision supported by my husband and we feel it’s right for our son. Add to that, we’re also taking advantage of the baby foods on offer in the supermarkets full of wonderful flavours that we can try with Little Mr. In the next few weeks I do want to start making my own but for now, I’m very happy to use the wealth of choice as offered by Heinz, Plum Baby, Hipp Organic and Ella’s Kitchen. So yes, I’m a bad mummy for not making my own purees and for not choosing to wean my baby like others do but I’m happy that we’ve chosen what is right for Little Mr and no amount of opinionated tweets is going to change that.

bad mummy debate

To be a stay at home mum or not?

Let’s set the record straight. In an ideal world and if we could afford it, I would love be a stay at home Mum and look after my Son myself. It breaks my heart to think that I’m going to have to go back to work at some point and leave my Son with family to care for him all day. Financially, we are not in a position for me to do that and so towards the end of the year I’ll be going back to my role in Human Resources and getting back on the payroll.

A lot changes when you’re pregnant and when you become a parent. I very naively believed that I would be absolutely fine leaving our baby with my in-laws and my Mom once a week but do you know what, I don’t want to. It’s not that I don’t trust them, I do whole heartedly. I believe they’ll look after him and take care of him the way that we ask them to but I just want to do it myself. I want to be the one that feeds him his lunch and see him playing nicely with his toys encouraging him to say his first words or to be there when he does something monumental like beginning to crawl or walk. I want to be able to take my son to playgroup and for him to get to know other children his age and for me to find and build new friendships with other local mums. I want to be able to carry on taking him swimming during the week or up to the library for messy play and be able to take him to exciting PR events that only ever happen during the week and in London (okay, that’s selfish of me but I know I won’t be able to do that once I’m back at work!)

I really enjoy my work in HR, I’ve worked incredibly hard to get to where I am and I enjoy having a teeny bit of money each month to call my own but if we didn’t need me to go back to work to pay off our student debts or for us to live comfortably, I’d stay at home in a heartbeat. I actually feel guilty for knowing full well that we couldn’t afford for me to stay off work for too long once Little Mr had come along. We knew we wouldn’t be able to afford childcare so enlisted the help of our families before we got pregnant but now I feel selfish for doing so. I often have a rant if I see those awful television shows with parents with ten kids on living off benefits, shouting if you couldn’t afford ten kids why have them? Am I just as bad or is our situation entirely different? I can’t afford not to work, we only get child benefit as a hand out from the government but am I just the same as them? Bad Mummy alert (again!)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure at some point there’ll come a time where I will want to be at work and engage in adult conversation (said very much tongue in cheek) and give myself a proper challenge but at the moment I’m happy to enjoy my maternity leave, watch my little boy amaze me on a daily basis whilst feeding him shop bought puree and giving him his milk from a bottle. Am I a bad Mummy? If you believed the hype and controversy about all the topics I’ve mentioned above some would probably say yes but I know how much I love my Son and how much I want the best for him and if I have to formula feed him to make him grow up strong, I’ll do it,  if I feed him puree to begin our weaning journey, I’ll do it and if I go back to work to pay off our debt and so we can afford to buy him nice clothes, the occasional treat and take him on family days out then I’m going to do it. Whether you think I’m a bad Mummy or good Mummy I don’t care! As long as my Little Mr is happy and healthy that is all that matters to me, his Mummy.

Sorry for the rant. Do you feel the pressure too or do you just ignore it?

Edit – I don’t want to antagonise people with this post, nor am I trying to stir reaction either way. I’m just expressing how I’ve been made to feel. I do believe every parent should make their own choice for their children to suit their own needs and way of life. I’ve changed the title of this post from debate to discussion as it was not my intent to fuel any fires and would like to apologise to anyone who thinks this may have come across as a fire starter!

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41 Comments

  • Reply (Mostly) Yummy Mummy

    I’m not sure how to say this without sounding patronising but honestly, I think you choose whether or not to feel such pressures. They are very much of your own making. The choices we make when we become parents, well actually right from being pregnant, are all different according to our circumstances or personal choice and that doesn’t make them good or bad – just right for us.

    28/07/2013 at 2:34 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Thanks for your comment Mostly, I’m guilty of feeling pressured by a lot of external forces. Most I ignore but some just really get my goat!

      28/07/2013 at 2:40 pm
  • Reply Gemma

    I think all Mum’s feel the pressure. My little one is nearly 10 months old and I am still gutted about the fact I couldn’t breastfeed her until at least 6 months. I breastfed for 5 days I thought it was doing well, I thought she was latched on and I could feel her feeding and it didn’t hurt (I had to use nipple shields) However, at her 5 day check she had gone from 9lbs to 7lb 9oz was badly jaundiced so we ended up back in hospital for 2 days where she had to have a cannula fitted as she was dehydrated and liver functions were up she also had to lie on a light for her jaundice. I found the support for breastfeeding really lacking. I struggled in hospital and a breastfeeding support woman came and saw me and said that was fine. I was sent home even though she had signs of jaundice, I still believe I shouldn’t have been sent home. When at home for just a couple of hours I received a phonecall from the breastfeeding support service saying they would come and see me on the Thursday afternoon, no one turned up I had no idea who called me. I gave birth at a hospital out of area so that could be why I wasn’t supported as well. When in hospital with my little girl I decided to express and top up with formula, when expressing I barely got an oz for 1/2 hour plus of trying. This went on for 3 more weeks until it became too much. It kills me I couldn’t produce enough for her.

    We started with purees as I had fears over BLW over choking, not knowing how much she had eaten and it just all being a bit weird. After a couple of weeks of purees we tried her on finger foods and she loved it and has really come along since we started BLW and it’s how I would feed any future children as it works for us, I would never expect anyone else to do this with their child as you are the parent and know best.

    I want to be a stay at home Mum but I can’t I am the main earner and we wouldn’t survive without 2 wages. I am lucky as I shift work so get to spend a lot of the morning/afternoon with my baby, however, it means missing out on bedtimes and not being able to get enough sleep at night. I want to be able to provide nice things for her and take her to a varied amount of places so for that I need to have money.

    I try not to give in to pressure but I don’t think some Mum’s realise how awful they make other’s feel. In the Facebook group I am on there was a big falling out over formula fed and breast fed babies, it seemed the breastfeeding mothers got together one day and decided to post pictures of them breastfeeding and when some took exception to it as it was obvious it was for having a go at those who chose not to breastfeed or couldn’t do it they called formula poison. If someone successfully breastfeeds they should be proud of it but shouldn’t make other’s feel like failures.

    Sorry for the essay!

    28/07/2013 at 2:43 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Thanks Gemma, I really appreciate your reply. I wonder that too, that sometimes there are other mothers out there who say stuff without realising (or maybe they do) how hurtful it can be.

      My post is on the back of a discussion that was had on my FB baby group where a mother decided to tell us all that we were bad mothers for feeding our babies puree from a carton. The lady in question wasn’t a first time mum, she has 3 or 4 children so IMHO believes she knows it all and wanted to tell us first time mums how it was! I know some of the first time mums really were offended and it just pissed me off that some people believe they are the only ones doing it right!

      28/07/2013 at 2:51 pm
      • Reply Leah

        Brilliant post and good response Gemma. I did wonder before I even read this whether it was that discussion which prompted it xx

        28/07/2013 at 3:04 pm
        • Reply mrsshilts

          Thanks Leah, I couldn’t respond online on Friday but you can tell it got me!

          28/07/2013 at 3:07 pm
  • Reply Emily Tealady

    I feel all of the above at some point! I too had issue breastfeeding, and a lot of pressure there, I carried on and on, getting more and more stressed. So actually the first few months of my babys life I would rather forget, and were not good memories for me, which I still have issues about – so do not think badly – you did the absolute right thing for you. As for working, I’m about to publish a post saying similar – I have to work, I am the bread winner, I have no choice. People can say what they like but we all have to have money at the end of the day! like you I enjoy my job but the thought of missing out on N growing and learning kills me. With regards to weaning, do what’s comfortable and what baby enjoys! Im trying blw only because Im too lazy to puree stuff! but I have bought packets and have tried packet puree and she has liked it, so I may do a bit of both. I’ll see how it goes. Don’t stress, you know what’s best for you, just go with the flow, and make your choices, don’t worry what everyone else says xx

    28/07/2013 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Emma Day (crazywithtwins)

    I think if I’d gone on the internet or been blogging/tweeting when I had my first baby, I would have felt exactly as you do. With the second and third baby comes a thick skin though. I really don’t care what people think of my parenting methods. I know I’m a bloody good mum and I do what is right for my children. My methods and the things that make my babies happy – are never going to be the same for every other baby and parent. What makes you a good mum is knowing your own baby and deciding what is best for them. Whether that be breast or bottle, working or not. I really don’t want to go back to work either, but sadly I have to, because I can’t afford not to. For other mums, they might be the opposite way around. As long as your children are safe and happy – you’re doing the right thing. Ignore everyone else. xxx

    28/07/2013 at 3:18 pm
    • Reply Mummy Glitzer

      Well said Emma!

      My husband and I have always parented according to our instincts, to what makes Harry happy. I returned to work because I was messed about regarding redundancy but even with only having to pay for three days worth of childcare, my salary just about covered that. As such I plunged into a sort of delayed PND as well as the pregnancy triggering physical symptoms of my neurological conditions; combined I had just over six months off sick (on and off) when I returned to work!

      When I was made redundant almost a year after I had gone back to work, it was a relief quite frankly. We were no better or worse off financially and despite all we have been through in the 18 or so months since, I have never been more at peace with my lot.

      What works for one person doesn’t work for another and I truly don’t believe there are as many judgmental parents out there that so many people seem to think, although there are of course some.

      29/07/2013 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply Helen Gallery

    You have to do what’s right for you as a family and really it’s no-one else’s business! Yes we have made different choices to you but that doesn’t make either of us right! It’s whatever works for you!
    As you probably know I am pro breastfeeding (noone can argue that it’s the best for baby) however as you discovered yoyrself it isn’t alwsys as easy and simple as that. I was very lucky in that when I encountered problems it wasnt until baby 3 and I was just stubborn enough as well as able to seek a bit of help

    28/07/2013 at 3:30 pm
    • Reply Helen Gallery

      Oops pressed submit by accident!
      I dont think thetr is enough support available at all for new mums in the early weeks. Maybe if there was more mums wouldn’t feel quite as pressured.
      I did baby led weaning too but I did start on the purees for my first baby. In my experience blw is easier and less stressful however thats fro. My own experience. Again you have to find your own way and believe me you are also classed as a bad mum if you don’t do the puree thing!
      If it makes you feel any better it really doesn’t matter what you do someone will have an opinion on it. If your baby is happy and thrivibg and you are happy and stress free then I wouldn’t give it a thought. Do what’s right for you and your family, what fits in with your lifestyle and what makes you all happy.
      In a few years people’s attitudes will change again and what they class as the’right’ thing now will probably be frowned on.
      And don’t forget that the text books weren’t written until the last century and in any case babies can’t read!
      You are an amazing mummy dont let anyone tell you any different x

      28/07/2013 at 3:40 pm
      • Reply mrsshilts

        Thanks Helen, I was saying the same to my hubby the other day. No-one since Day 12 post birth has asked me how I’m doing. Ok, so I went to the Doctors at my 6 week check but I had to book that in myself and all he was bothered about was my C-section scar. No-one asks at Baby clinic and if I don’t go to clinic no-one would know anything about us or Little Mr so I do find it hard to ignore some advice that people give to me as who else do I speak too? x

        28/07/2013 at 10:43 pm
  • Reply Emily Anderson

    As a first time mummy with a baby who is only 7 weeks old maybe I am not in a position to make a comment, however I’m going to.
    I couldn’t breastfed either, Emma I completely sympathise as my situation sounds very similar. I was so exhausted and emotional after the birth I could hardly focus to see my beautiful baby let alone try feeding her (which I have to admit is something that didn’t come completely naturally to me, another thing for other mums to point out that can’t possibly be true as in their opinion should come naturally to all mothers) Florence just wouldn’t feed, she wouldn’t latch on and just didn’t suck so it wasn’t through lack of trying. I tried for 4 days and she really wasn’t having any of it but I felt so much pressure in the hospital in the end one time she did hold it in the mouth even tho she wasn’t drinking Steve called the midwife over and told her we had done a good half hour feed and although a complete lie it was enough for them to tick their box and let me go home.
    We now have a very healthy and very happy, relaxed formula fed little girl and I’m very pleased with our choice to fill her with what others see as ‘fast food’
    In an ideal world I will be feeding Florence home puréed foods but have absolutely no problem admitting that for ease and peace if mind to know she getting everything she should I will be feeding her mostly from the supermarket shelf. Years of research go into formulating their products so if other mums think they can top that let then go right ahead.
    My head is buried in the sand when it comes to the back to work issue but I know that I don’t wanna go back but financially I will have to do something so I will face it when I have to but I feel exactly the same.
    Don’t be so hard on yourself your doing an amazing job and your raising a happy contented baby who seems to always be smiling! That’s what counts and anyone who thinks different, shame on them.
    Your a great mum xx

    28/07/2013 at 3:33 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Thanks Emily. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful Little Mr x

      28/07/2013 at 11:05 pm
  • Reply Carolyn Barr

    Emma, first and foremost you are doing a wonderful job as a parent. It is a hard job that no one prepares you for. As someone who managed to breast feed let me agree with you how hard it is. I had a wonderful midwife in the hospital who helped me feed Charlie and if she hasn’t helped me with the first 4-5 feeds, I wouldn’t have managed it. Your midwife should have done more and you should not feel like a bad mum! ;-( how many children are born addicted to drugs because if bad parents. We did all the puréed food for Charlie, (shop bought and home made!) and did baby led with holly. Only difference is holly chews properly and for ages Charlie just swallowed and is still lazy at chewing meat and he’s 4. You do the best you can for your kids and no one should be making you feel inadequate, it’s a hard enough emotional roller coaster as it is. Xx

    28/07/2013 at 3:48 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Thank you Carolyn xx

      28/07/2013 at 10:34 pm
  • Reply Jayne

    Just wanted to say, sod everyone else and stop being so hard on yourself! You are doing a fantastic job and you are doing what you feel right as his mum, you know him best and every child is different so just keep on doing what you are doing. You are not a bad mum in any way, you only have to look at the pictures of your beautiful smiley baby boy to see you are a great mum. Chin up x

    28/07/2013 at 4:49 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Thanks Jayne, that means a lot x

      28/07/2013 at 10:26 pm
  • Reply Kim Carberry

    I think no matter what you do someone will always have an opinion….
    For example go out to work you leave your children which is so bad and wrong….Stay at home you’re just too lazy to work setting such a bad example….Some times you just can’t win….You’ll never please everyone!!
    Let others think what they want as long as you do what’s best for you and your children that’s all that matters!!

    28/07/2013 at 4:53 pm
    • Reply Kim Carberry

      By the way I’m not saying going out to work is bad and wrong….It was just an example!!

      28/07/2013 at 4:54 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Thanks Kim, you’re right! Everyone will always have an opinion on what you’re doing, what you’re wearing, where you’re going etc. I’m learning life lessons every day on this mummyhood curve let me tell you! x

      28/07/2013 at 10:24 pm
  • Reply Anna Edmondson

    This post is the first time I’ve come across your blog – it felt very familiar to my own experience!! I was absolutely astonished when I had my baby to find that there is a “movement” for everything – breastfeeding, babywearing, BLW, co-sleeping, attachment parenting and so forth (not to say that any of these are wrong!!) – I thought I was quite well informed but had no idea of the strength of feeling about every aspect of raising a baby.

    I’d agree with others – you really have to find confidence in yourself as a parent to make the best decisions for your child, and decide whether you’re doing a good job based on how well your child is doing. But no matter how pragmatic you are, where there are regrets (I share the one about not being able to breastfeed), it’s always really hard not to take them personally and feel defensive.

    I’m mainly commenting to agree/show support, rather than say anything useful, but I would say that it’s amazing how these things fall into perspective over time – my daughter is nearly two, and I was reminiscing with some friends about how much we all agonised about our choices when it came to weaning…one did puree, one BLW, and I did a mixture of the two. Now? They all have preferences and foods they don’t like, all are capable of getting food into their mouths and chewing it, and there’s no discernible difference that could be linked back to the different approaches; we did wonder whether it warranted all of the worrying/stressing and so forth at the time!

    The lack of sleep and heightened hormones didn’t help me generally with keeping things in perspective…obviously it’s all different now (ha!).

    28/07/2013 at 8:54 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Hi Anna, thank you so much for stopping by and what a post to do so eh? You’re right I’m quite defensive with the breastfeeding topic, I probably put too much pressure on myself during my pregnancy to bf so when it came to the crunch and it didn’t work out I was gutted. BUT, Little Mr is doing so well that I can’t complain with how he’s doing on the formula. I perhaps need to get over my own issue with it.
      Thanks for your support, it means a lot x

      28/07/2013 at 9:53 pm
  • Reply Bryher Hill

    I combi fed for 5 months and still feel guilty for struggling, not asking for help and eventually stopping. I think its one of those things that gets ingrained into us.

    Re the weaning, we have done puree + finger food when Charlie was ready. The Annabel Karmel books are great and have lots of recipe ideas if you are into batch cooking :)

    28/07/2013 at 9:34 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Thanks Bryher, I’ve bought AK’s books and will be doing some batch cooking when we get back from our holiday. We tried Little Mr on sweet potato today, he wasn’t a fan!

      28/07/2013 at 9:48 pm
  • Reply Lorna (madewithluna)

    I was given MASSES of support with breastfeeding when Evie was born. I was in hospital for 4 days post section, and was given help with every single feed day and night whilst there. It didnt work though.

    Evie was able to latch on, however bar 3 successful feeds, she refused to suckle. Would just lie there waiting for something to happen. I started trying to express, but my first attempt only got me a measly 0.1ml. Eventually the hospital said she couldnt wait any longer and she was given a formula top-up.

    For 6 days I continued to try and breastfeed. Every feed involved trying on the boob, then giving her the expressed milk (even after 6 days I could still only get 10ml between both sides whilst using a pump), followed up by formula through a syringe so as to try and not create ‘nipple confusion’. Inbetween each feed I then had to try and pump again for the next feed. I was exhausted and still couldnt give my baby what she needed.

    After 6 days of this I made the hard decision to change to formula completely. I wasnt a happy Mummy whilst stressing about breastfeeding and when the decision was made it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

    For a long time after I was still sad it didnt work (still am now), and it was particularly tough when my boobs would leak when she cried, or when she was hungry and turning towards my boob, but I knew that it just didnt work. I wanted to feed my baby myself, and my body couldnt do it.

    I’m very pro breastfeeding. However BF Mummies need to remember that not all formula Mummies are formula through choice. And even if they were – its their decision at the end of the day.

    BF Mummies – be proud of what you are doing for your baby, I would be too, but don’t look down on those using formula as you don’t know their story x

    28/07/2013 at 11:52 pm
    • Reply mrsshilts

      Thank you Lorna, as a new mummy who knows what you’ve been through thank you for sharing that xx

      29/07/2013 at 12:24 am
  • Reply Carie

    At the end of the day we’re all making the very best choices for our specific situations and our individual children. I suspect that some unintentional judging comes about when we make a different choice to family/friends and the subconscious says “I think X is the best choice, but they chose Y – either they are wrong or they think I’m wrong and therefore a bad parent etc”

    I think we have to trust our own instincts and our knowledge of our children, and you can see from the pictures that your little boy is more than thriving so be gentle with yourself

    29/07/2013 at 11:20 am
  • Reply Me_andthe_tiny3

    Don’t feel guilty for making sure your son didn’t dehydrate, IMHO breast isn’t always best anyway, I breast fed JR he’s the only one who has suspected asthma. My nephew was bf he’s the only 1 of my sisters 4 who has asthma, so please don’t feel guilty.
    Jars over blw I’ve done both but they only recommend BLW from 6 months so again don’t feel guilty, in a few weeks let him finger feed but only if that’s what you want to do.
    I’m a SAHM but that’s my choice, everyone’s circumstances are different.
    Finally the fact that you are worrying that you might be a bad mum makes me believe you are in fact an excellent mum as bad mums won’t worry about whether or not they are looking after their child/ren right or not!

    29/07/2013 at 12:32 pm
  • Reply Michelle Highe

    You are doing whats right for you and your little man in every way and thats how it should be. I dont believe in baby led weaning ( had same disscussion with my sister other day), I work for ambulance service and was called to a baby choking when we got there the little one had bitten a hugh piece of banana and started to choke, luckily baby was fine but this is one job I havent forgotten. Call me old fashioned but notjing wrong with purees.

    29/07/2013 at 12:54 pm
  • Reply Munchies and Munchkins

    Greàt post. I really don’t understand why mums feel the need to make each other feel bad. I breastfed for 6 months but it took 5 days for Izzy to feed and I very nearly gave up but luckily some advice from an older midwife on my final day in hospital (they wouldn’t let us go home as she lost too much weight) saved the day and I am very thankful to her. There was nowhere near enough support re bfeeding in my hospital and I was more or less told that if I formula fed I could go home sooner which was very hard. I know that some mums can’t feed for one reason or another so I would never make someone feel bad for formula feeding. Izzy had formula from 6m and still has some for bed ( I know she’s nearly 2 -bad mum hey ha )

    As for weaning I felt similar to you and so I made purées at home to see what flavours she liked and also used plum pouches as we got older and went out and about. Brands like plum and organix are great – don’t feel bad about using them. I made most of her food purely because I love cooking – if I didn’t I probably would have bought them too. After a month or so I did give her finger foods too as I got more comfortable with it.

    I had to return to work full time as I’m the main earner. After baby 2 I’m going part time which will be tough financially but easier on my emotions as I hate leaving Izzy and leaving two will kill me but at least I will get full time maternity pay – yay.

    Everyone parents differently and all children are different. Different doesn’t mean wrong.

    You sound like a very involved hands on mum so you know you are doing what is right for YOUR child – I found it best to ignore/avoid the Facebook groups as I was getting more annoyed each time I went on by either sly digs about things like feeding or just general bitchiness. It’s not for me! X

    29/07/2013 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply InstinctiveMum

    You are trusting your instincts and doing what is best for your baby….you are an amazing mother! It makes me so upset that you have been made to feel the way you have, and I know it can be hard not to listen to others. Both you and your boy are just fantastic! Remember that xx

    29/07/2013 at 1:16 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Hi! This is the first time I’ve come across your blog and I could have written pretty much all of this myself a few years ago.

    My view is that these busybodies should get on with raising their own kid and never mind what everyone else is doing. The weaning issue is the one that grips my shit the most if I’m honest. The people who snootily inform you how wonderful BLW is and then follow up by saying they “did a mixture of both”. This is what I did both times and newsflash: a mixture of both is not BLW; it’s purees with finger foods. Traditional weaning basically, so come down off your high horse *rolleyes*

    (And breathe)

    Just remember: opinions are like assholes – everyone’s got one and sometimes they stink.

    29/07/2013 at 1:33 pm
  • Reply Cassandra mum of 4

    Welcome to motherhood!! Long will the guilty feelings continue. Soon it will be how you potty train, deal with tantrums, choose their schools, if you let them play out the front or not, the amount of junk food you allow and so on. Over the past 10 years I’ve come to ignore the pressures and guilt …
    My first baby did not have 1 single drop of formula – I struggled and my pleas were ignored. I felt like the worst mother ever! So when baby no 2 was born I was intent on feeding him “myself” – I did, for over 2 years and I found it so difficult to stop. It was a whole world of different issues! Well when baby 3 and 4 were born I did what I wanted and combined fed. But not for long !
    Ive tried full on blw, as well as puree between my 4 – there is no right or wrong… Tonight I’m cooking my family , including baby Jennie, a healthy lasagne from scratch. But last night the older kids had oven pizza and I couldn’t be bothered to be supermum so I got out a jar (!!) and fed it to my baby. She’s still alive, and has just eaten a nectarine :)
    You are a “good mummy” and are doing a fabulous job, don’t let society or anyone else tell you otherwise x

    29/07/2013 at 1:41 pm
    • Reply Cassandra mum of 4

      I meant my son didn’t have one drop of breast milk!!

      29/07/2013 at 1:42 pm
  • Reply Kate

    This post really struck a chord with me. Whether they mean to or not, some people (including other mummies) can be extremely judgemental towards mums. Whilst there’s tons of information out there about raising children, there’s no hard and fixed rules as they’re all individual. What works for one family won’t necessarily work for another. All that matters is that your son is well cared for, loved, happy and healthy, which he evidently is from photos I see and posts I read.

    With regard to bf, I’m also extremely defensive on the subject. My milk came in at 3-4 days and I had my haemorrhage at 10 days. Because of the blood loss, I wasn’t able to get my supply back but I kept trying until 6 weeks. We had a couple of days where E had screamed/cried continuously so at that point I decided I had to try formula and it was the right decision for us – it was like having a completely different baby. I was so intent on trying to bf that my baby had been hungry and that made me feel even worse.

    xx

    (Sorry, this turned into a mini essay!)

    29/07/2013 at 3:03 pm
  • Reply Karen Hannah

    I heard all the advice that gets banded about when I had my children, and I too felt that I should make my choices based on that. In the end though, I decided to say Sod It to everyone else’s opinion and went with what I felt was best not only for baby but also for me.

    I breastfed both of mine for a few days each then they went on formula. They are fit and healthy children – I have no regrets.

    I did BLW with one and made all my own food for him, but the other one was weaned with baby food jars. They are both good eaters and not very fussy.

    In the time I’ve been a mum, I have worked full-time, part time and not at all, and I’ve been self-employed. I prefer being self-employed and being at home with the children but I don’t judge anyone who goes out to work – the only reason they do it is to provide for their family – what’s wrong with that?

    Do what you feel happiest with. xx

    29/07/2013 at 4:20 pm
  • Reply Karen

    You’re not a bad mummy at all, I have thoughts like this all the time too and it’s horrible how we’re made to feel for the choices we make as a parent when all we’re trying to do is the best for our child.

    I wanted to try breast feeding my little one when she was born, I tried for 2 weeks and was absolutely exhausted by the end of it. I should have realised that it wasn’t working earlier, given myself a break and made the little one happier by giving her formula. I cried the first time I gave her formula as I felt so guilty and that I was a bad mummy – it also didn’t help by the lovely people in boots who gave off that I was buying formula for her, to which I snapped and told them if they’d had the night I’d had with feeding approx every 10 mins during the night and only getting around an hours sleep then they’d be buying formula too. Since putting her on formula she’s a happier baby and she’s thriving. I was formula fed, hubby was formula fed and we’re both fine. I hate that midwives, health visitors, baby clinics, drs, the media are so forceful on breast feeding, they need to realise that it DOESN’T always work for everyone and it’s not fair to make us feel like bad parents for doing so.

    I agree with you on the weaning. I was happy giving puree to the little one at the start too and whether you make it yourself of shop bought it’s still good wholesome produce. Even now if I give her a lunch or dinner that she feeds herself more goes round her than in her! She is good now with putting pieces in her mouth and ‘gumming’ on them but she still has no teeth so hard lumps are still an issue.

    We all have thoughts that we’re bad parents but forget about everyone else and only worry about your wee family. You’re a fab mum and you love your son sooo much. As long as he’s happy and healthy that’s all that matters. xx

    30/07/2013 at 9:56 am
  • Reply Stacey Guilliatt

    I totally feel you on all points. I know everybody is different, which is why I don’t judge, or keep my opinions to myself if I know it will upset people.

    Especially the bf point. I fed little man for 24 hours. Well, I expressed for him as he just would not latch. I don’t feel I had the support I needed. I felt incredibly guilty for a long time which led in part to PND. The thing that gets me though is when pro-bf’ers say well if you were happy with your decision you shouldn’t feel guilty – that’s the point, I wasn’t happy, so I did feel guilty, because of the pressure.

    Unfortunately, you just can’t win sometimes. (That goes for many things too, not just ff).

    xx

    30/07/2013 at 2:52 pm
  • Reply Fi

    My guideline has always been and always will be ‘live and let live!’

    Parenting isn’t a one road journey, it’s many different roads that each parent chooses to take.

    Sadly there will always be parents judging other parents, but you just rise above it.

    If your baby/child is happy, safe and thriving why does it matter how you carried them, fed them, play with them?

    Live and let live.

    Enjoy your baby honey xx

    31/07/2013 at 10:08 am
  • Reply Alex

    So, I had a very similar experience with breastfeeding, despite asking several people for help – by day three, the pain, strangers poking at my breasts and sheer overwhelming distress got too much – and my daughter, who is three next week, is a dynamo of health and way above average for her age (she’s starting to write letters and has been able to read a few words for a while now). I am very pro people being helped to breastfeed – certainly I’d like to see support more properly built in – and being able to breastfeed wherever and whenever. I am also pro healthy, happy mummies for healthy, happy babies. Moving onto formula helped me keep my sanity. I don’t have to justify that to anyone!

    I also used purees, because when I tried BLW her sore teething gums meant she simply didn’t eat, and would then be irritable. She eats practically anything these days, and has never been fussy.

    AND I went back to work. I really needed to, but I also wanted to. It’s part of who I am. If it were a choice between a happy child and working, I’d give up working, but I don’t believe for a minute that it is.

    Of course I feel the pressure sometimes, but with every day, week, month and year that goes by, I have a stronger and stronger sense of my own confidence as a parent, and I know I’m doing the best I can do for my child, whom I adore. She’s happy. I’m happy. Her dad’s happy. The rest is none of anyone else’s business!

    You’re doing what you need to do to have the life you want for your family. Don’t second-guess yourself. :)

    31/07/2013 at 10:27 am
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