Janey’s August Letter: Why Must New Mums Face Such Pressure?

Well hello August, I can’t believe you’re here already, but at the moment  I’m in such a spin I can barely believe I’m still upright!

baby feet

So much has happened recently.  Six weeks to the day after Binks had India, my eldest daughter Anna-Louise gave birth to the divine Freddie – who now at seven days old is a charming little mummy’s boy.

Needless to say there is much joy in the Felstead household.  For me as a granny, well you wait for a grandchild, and like busses – two come along at once!

I’ve been properly indulging myself time wise and taking every moment I fancy to just do what I want.  This is naturally a luxury for me as I have no constant call upon my time, so can relax and enjoy these babies probably more that I enjoyed my own.  Which in a way – although  probably normal – is also pretty sad.

Beware especially the ‘prophets of doom’.   Those people who love to tell a good horror story and how they survived it and exactly what you must do to avoid such pitfalls.

So much pressure is heaped upon us when we have a child. How can we possibly do what everyone recommends ‘ relax and enjoy…make the most – this time doesn’t last forever’  when we are surrounded by so many ‘one baby experts’ – and a million opinions.

welcome to the felstead family

We are tired and understandably emotional. Grateful for our new arrival,  but therefore guilt ridden if we feel like having a few (entirely normal) tears.

Beware especially the ‘prophets of doom’.   Those people who love to tell a good horror story and how they survived it and exactly what you must do to avoid such pitfalls.

If you’re tired and feeling a little weak, these people can get into your head and frighten you so much you can’t possibly ‘relax and enjoy’ as you’re too busy guarding over the sleeping child making sure that everything is done as per the nurses/the book/the friends/the so called friends/all the family,  and of course ‘ The Granny’ – who naturally knows it all!

When you eventually venture out in public  – you have them to worry about too.  Having probably JUST established a breast feeding routine for example, you are then called upon to expose yourself to the world.

We all know breast feeding is entirely normal – and drummed into us as preferable too – but how do you easily manage it when aware of the ‘interest’ of people around  ( Binks has suffered greatly with this ) OR heaven forbid – you can’t manage it at all!

 if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable – well tell them to ‘do one!”

I was unable to feed my children.  I’m not entirely sure why, but I do think being uptight and embarrassed  – and aware of the discomfort of others around me was a big factor.   I went through all the ‘tutting’ from the world and his wife and naturally felt a failure.  This never helped me or my babies,  and now at this grand old age – it makes me very CROSS!

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The face Ted makes when people put pressure on new mums

My three children were healthy, never overweight – and all grew up to be beautiful and bright.  Naturally I wished that was all down to me, but it was actually assisted by formula.

So I do believe the message we should be putting out there is ; do whatever is good for you.  Do not be influenced by anyone or anything.   Don’t be worried about ‘ being a pain and overreacting’ if you’re worried – ask for help.

Doctors and nurses are there for that – but at no stage forget who’s baby it is, and know that a mothers instinct rules – and if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable – well tell them to ‘do one!”

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