Hey ya’ll! I’m Britney, I’m a 27 year old wife and first time mom to a beautiful seven month old little girl name Raelyn. I was really excited when Tinicia approached me about writing about my journey through motherhood and sharing it with you! Looking back on the last year and a half of my life I have been through so many things I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share with you all. From the first time I saw two pink lines on that test, to spending 40+ hours in labor, to breastfeeding failures, and beyond it has been a rollercoaster. Becoming a first time mom in a world full of social pressure has proven to be quite an obstacle all on its own and I wanted to share my struggles and triumphs with you about just that.
I remember being so excited when I was added to my first mom page on Facebook, l had finally made it to the elite group known as Moms. At first I didn’t read too much just posts here and there, cute pictures of people babies and growing families. It wasn’t until Rae was here and I started to struggle with breastfeeding did I really see the toll they were taking on me as a mom and a person.
Raelyn was a champion breast feeder in the hospital but as soon as we got home it all went downhill fast. My first full day home with her she would NOT latch, after quite a few hours of only nursing 5 minutes at the most we decided to call the doctors and take her because I was terrified something was wrong. After the scolding I received from the only doctor available at the office (who does not ever see my daughter now) about causing long term brain damage from low sugar levels I finally got her to latch and eat and things seemed to be on the up and up. Over the course of the next month I still struggled, I had never been in so much pain from just nursing and getting mastitis TWICE in four weeks and being shamed by the lactation consultants who could never fit me in. This all led to Rae being a formula fed baby after the second round of mastitis and my milk completely drying up.
Things got much better in our house after this, Rae was happier & so were Mom & Dad. That was until I realized someone had added me to multiple breast feeding mom groups on Facebook that clogged my newsfeed with so much negativity and bashing. I would spend hours at night reading about how awful formula is for babies and how people who didn’t breastfeed didn’t care about their babies and so on. I already struggled with massive guilt for failing at breastfeeding and the added cost buying formula and seeing all my friends flourish at nursing and this sent me in a downward spiral of post-partum depression. I spent hours a day crying thinking I had “broken” my daughter and that I was robbing her of a healthy life, because according to all the mom groups breastfeeding was the only way to keep your baby healthy. As you can imagine this put a strain on my marriage and mental health.
Finally one day after one of my mom guilt meltdowns my husband sat me down and made me remove myself from all of the breastfeeding groups I was in on Facebook. The day I deleted myself from those I started to feel so much better. Society has a way of deciding how we should all raise our children and everyone else’s opinion should matter when In fact it does not. Finding a group of positive and understanding moms can be a game changer in your motherhood journey! Social media should inspire and encourage you in your new life not condemn you for the choices you make. The best piece of advice I ever received when I became a mom was this, “Never regret a decision you made as a mom whether it turns out good or bad because at the time it was the best decision you knew how to make.”
The point of what I’m writing to all you struggling mommas is do what you think is best for YOU and your kids, no one else. Is that Facebook mom group making you feel like you are messing up? Remove yourself. Following moms accounts who make you feel like you are failing? Unfollow them. Surround yourself with encouraging people who know the struggle is so real in motherhood. The day I realized this, my motherhood journey changed in the best way! Social media can be a haven for meeting so many inspirational and uplifting women and let it be just that, uplifting and encouraging.
I hope that someone can read my struggle and be encouraged to be confident in their motherhood choices, whether it is to breastfeed, formula feed, having a natural birth, having an epidural, or any other “controversial” topic. In case no one reminded you today you are enough, you are strong enough, brave enough, compassionate enough to raise your babies to be the best they can be! We all believe in you and are rooting for you.