Four years ago, I gave birth to my first baby, overwhelmed with dreams and fairy tales of how I will raise her and how I will be a super mom as I have been always expected to be.
A short time after I had my girl, I was slapped right on the face, I couldn’t breastfeed my little one! I never thought it would be that hard. I thought it’s a piece of cake, it’s like when I used to pretend to breastfeed my doll. The pain was ongoing and my boobs were bleeding.
I had to either scream from pain or leave my child screaming from hunger. I asked all the mothers I knew, tried all the remedies they recommended, bought all the nipple creams in town, and watched YouTube tutorials. However, nothing worked! I thought every night of quitting breastfeeding and resorting to formula milk. Then I decided to cover half of the feeding times with formula. This was the beginning of my story with guilt and it became a tragic one!
Back then a street dog gave birth near the building where I live. Every time I passed by and saw her breastfeeding her three puppies, it killed me. This brought me to a conclusion; this street dog was better than me. It did what I had failed to do and that made it a better mother!
It became worse when I stopped breastfeeding completely. I started to feel that I’m a useless person and anyone can replace me because I quit the most important thing a mother is supposed to do. I felt like I don’t deserve rest or food because mothers only need them to breastfeed their babies.
It was very difficult to see a mother breastfeeding her baby and I literally used to blink whenever I saw one as if I’m in front of a heartbreaking scene! I used to justify my decision in front of nursing mothers as I always felt I was beneath them. I convinced myself that some breastfeeding mothers suck at bonding with their babies. However, the excuses I used to give myself were never a relief.
Then one day I woke up four years later feeling that I have imprisoned myself and forgot that my beautiful daughter is no longer a baby and she needs other things than breast milk. I wondered how I could give her anything if I feel that bad about my motherhood experience! How I can forgive her when she accidentally breaks a toy if I can’t forgive myself for not breastfeeding her!
I’m a good mother.