I recently sent The Unmumsy Mum A.K.A author, blogger and all around amazing Mum to three beautiful boys, Sarah Turner a message through the magical medium of Facebook. The purpose of this message was to basically thank her.
We are now sixteen weeks into this parenting business, and I absolutely love it. But it is hard. I am tired. I forget everything. Some days, I don’t even get my hair brushed. In the early days, I attempted to breastfeed, and we really struggled. He just would not latch no matter what we tried. He would just get angry and scream at my boob like it was an offensive weapon, and not a source of food! Because of this, I would express breast milk, but I assumed he would eventually latch. He didn’t. So one day I made the decision to continue expressing, and stop trying to get him to latch. That and a couple of formula bottles kept my baby fed, and the relief was amazing.
Amazing as it was, it was also incredibly difficult, and it still is. I would say it’s gotten easier in that, I’m used to it now. I have a sort of routine – which I rarely stick to – and in those early days, I felt incredibly lonely, useless, and a bit like a failure. In the middle of the night, baby would wake up for a feed so my husband would feed him, and I would go and sit in another room and express. It took ages, and I felt like I was missing out, like I was abandoning my baby.
Then, as the weeks went by, things started to level out a bit. But still, the loneliness continued. I would go and sit upstairs every couple of hours and express, sometimes for an hour. By myself. I was worried the noise of the breast pump would disturb my husband and new baby.
That’s when I picked up The Unmumsy Mum Diary – I know, that’s the second book, but I don’t think it matters – and started to read again. I say again, because I hadn’t picked up a book since the day before he was born, and I had certainly missed reading.
Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone. And when I say alone, I just want to point out that I had a brilliant support network of friends and family, but when all you want to do is provide for your baby, but you’re sitting in a different room, on a different floor to him, it doesn’t feel good. But this book not only made me laugh so much, it gave me comfort. And it made me feel confident. Because I suddenly realized that it’s okay to not have it together 100% of the time and that doesn’t make you a bad mother.
As soon as I put the aforementioned book down, I ordered her first book, The Unmumsy Mum. I finished that today and again, it was just so reassuring.
Sarah has opened up her mind, her heart and her life to help complete strangers, and that is a truly wonderful gift. If you are a new mother, an experienced mother, an expectant mother, or you just want a laugh or a bit of understanding, then these are the books for you. Reading these two books each time I’ve done some expressing has kept me sane.
By the way, Sarah responded to my message and she was an absolute delightful gem. The sort of Mammy friend I would definitely want in my circle.