I get it. I get you.
Dear New Mum,
I saw you the other day in the supermarket, I saw you trying to push a trolley and a pushchair. I know how hard that is, I have done it myself and when I got home I burst into tears at the whole thing.
The baby was crying, the trolley had a strange wonky wheel and often people just pushed by and tutted. I want to tell you it is okay, it is okay that you thought a pushchair and a trolley was a good idea at the time. It is okay that you can’t workout if you push the baby in the queue first or the trolley.
It is okay that you can’t actually fit all the shopping under the pushchair and that in the end your trolley is probably too heavy to push with your pushchair too.
We might not have all done it, but I have. It is okay.
I saw you the other day, in the coffee shop, your baby unsettled and red. Scrunched up face, balled up fists and clothes that frankly just don’t fit. Smelling faintly of newborn poop and milk of some sort. You have ordered your coffee already, you are alone just you two. It is a brave new word for you both.
I hear you “shhhhh” your little love, I see you pat their bum, and I see a flash of expression that I recognised ‘Why can’t I soothe this baby, I am such a bad mum‘ or ‘everyone is staring at me’.
I want to tell you it is okay, my babies made me sweat too. Sitting in a coffee shop and we both end up smelling like poo, I can’t fit the pushchair in the toilets and I can’t leave it here either. When they get so frustrated no milk, no hug, no rocking and no dummy will help – It is okay.
Personally when this happens to me after my coffee I retreat home and cry. I want you to know, this is okay.
Breastfeeding mother I saw you sitting in the corner, with your darling wedged up your top. Your baby is a little squashed and you are not really sure what you are doing, they are making the right noises and if you move they will scream the place down.
You aren’t sure if you are doing the right thing, you have no idea if you have enough milk and frankly you are so tired your eyes are dry and you might burst in to tears at any moment. It is okay. You have enough milk, don’t worry, if it doesn’t hurt you are doing it right and being tired is okay.
This one time, I answered the front door with a baby in a sling and a boob hanging out with milk dripping. It is okay.
Formula feeders, I see you. Feeling judged by those who have chosen another way. Throughout parenting this will be just one of the very difficult decisions you will make and you will feel judge from the very moment you leave the hospital till the day you no longer make decisions on behalf of your baby.