So World Breastfeeding Week has been and gone for another year, amid its usual storm of social media posts, news reports on the UK’s low, low feeding rates, frayed nerves, narky comments, judgement, perceived judgement, mums speaking out, others afraid to say what they want or mean, women wanting to support each other and in doing so offending others.
Whatever you say on the matter, you won’t please everyone. I have been thinking all week whether to wade in with my two cents’ worth. Sometimes I am all fired up about it and wish more people used their boobs as nature intended and sometimes I wonder if it all matters in the grand scheme of things.
So I am just going to tell my story. Make of it what you will.
I have two children, and two completely different feeding experiences. My almost five year old is still formula fed and my almost two year old is still boobing.
OK, so I don’t hate mindfulness. But I do admit to doing a tiny cringe when I hear the word. I love the concept: pay closer attention to whatever you are doing, it silences your mind so you feel less stressed and more joyful, I mean who doesn’t want that?
But I do believe it’s easy to think that mindfulness is just too worthy to bother with. It can seem like a chore, you know? The last thing any mum needs is another bloody chore.
Nope, I’m not telling you not to swear (anyone who knows me would think that was a bit of fucking liberty), but I would like to talk to you about the power of words.
Back in the mists of time – about five years ago but the sleep deprivation makes it feel much longer – I was a sub editor on a glossy magazine and a freelance writer. I’ve always always loved language. Words are important, they are powerful, they can stay with you forever. It’s not just the written word that has this impact though. What you say to others and, more importantly, what you tell yourself will shape your self-esteem and therefore your happiness.