Motherhood: The truth

When I discovered I was a mother to be I decided that knowledge was power.

I devoured every book I could lay my hands on which dealt with the subject.
I read information books, expert books, funny books, I talked to friends, I talked to relatives and I would watch each and every programme on parenting that eeked it’s way out of my TV screen.
I sucked up information like a dried out sponge and I took each and every snippet in and stored it in my internal parent-to-be hard drive.

Unfortunately back then I hadn’t discovered blogs or blogging. I didn’t know such a thing existed.

I can now safely say that ‘mummy’ bloggers are the best read if you are expecting a baby.

In the year I have been reading them I have seen more raw honesty, plain speaking and home truths than I ever saw in a shelf-full of help books.

And just recently I have read a couple that really made me sit up and think ‘now THIS is what blogging is about. This is what I should have been reading 7 years ago’.

There is something quite beautiful in the heartwrenching honesty of a mother sharing her darkest moments or her worst fears. There are no sanitised words – just the truth about real mums and their experiences and THAT is what we should be encouraged to read when we’re heavy with child.

I was thinking about my new found bloggy friend Metropolitan Mum, who is expecting her first child any day now, and how lucky she is to have found the path to blogsville and how much richer it will make her life as a new mum.

So, here are a few posts that I have read recently and just made me think wow.
They don’t make easy reading, but they do make me proud to be part of this online community.

Breastfeeding: What they don’t tell you.
Nursing mum Catherine , who writes at Her Bad Mother, recently breastfeed another woman’s baby.
That’s right, she breastfed another woman’s baby.
Shocking I know and, while I’d like to think I could do that for a mum in need, I struggled with the question ‘what would I have done?’
But far more shocking was the backlash she received from an outragedonlooker. Check out the comments section. Rivetting stuff.

“What I do with my boobs – what any mother does to ensure that her baby gets fed – is none of your business . . . your public expression of disgust and alarm hurts. It reinforces the idea that breasts and breastfeeding hover on the very razor’s edge of shamefulness, that these things on our chests are somehow, in some way, dirty and icky and bad.”

Depression: Not the version your mother ever told you about
New blogger More than Just a Mother is so upbeat and fun that it’s hard to believe she suffered with depression. But boy did she. And boy did she write about it elloquently and honestly.
A beautifully haunting post that must have been so very hard to write, but we should all be so thankful she did.

“Far worse than my indecision and inertia was how I felt towards my new babies. Or more accurately, the way I didn’t feel. Oh, I’d have rescued them from a burning building, but I didn’t love them. I didn’t feel a connection with them in the way I knew I should; in the way I felt with my other children.”

A tale of survival
Anyone who reads Jen at Steenky Bee on a regular basis will know she’s a bit of a loon. In fact, she’s such a loon she totally won’t take offence at being called a loon (I hope!)

So when she wrote a post about her life before children and the destructive and abusive relationship she managed to escape, my chin hit the floor.
Beautifully written as a letter to her daughter, it’s utterly captivating and actually made me punch the air and think ‘you go girl’ – and that is SO not like me.

“Reesie-girl, I hope you know that as you grow older, you can always talk to me about anything. I will always listen with open ears, and open mind, but more importantly, an open heart. Don’t be like me. Don’t be ashamed, embarrassed, scared”

The real face of bullying
We hear all kinds of whys and wherefores about children being bullied in school and what we should do and what we shouldn’t do, but when Vodka Mom wrote this short piece about her boy being picked on it really hit a nerve.

“Then, after you are asleep and the worries of the day are wiped away, I will pray that God gives you the strength that you will need to navigate your way through what will surely be painful and difficult teen years.”

Did you read everything you could when you were pregnant, or did you opt to go with the flow?

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24 Responses to Motherhood: The truth

  1. Metropolitan Mum says:

    Indeed! Apart from all the inspiring and delightful stories that just make me smile, I feel very lucky and so relieved not to be alone with all the more serious questions in my head and in my heart. Thanks for caring, it really means something to me!

  2. Single Parent Dad says:

    I agree that the blogosphere is a wonderful place for truthful, and very insightful, first hand experience.If ever I get pregnant, I know where to head.

  3. Vodka Mom says:

    bravo. You are so right about this blogosphere being a gold mine of love, laughter, honesty and life-rafts. I find myself so thankful that I am not the only crazy, stressed out, screaming, thankful and blessed woman in the world. xoxox

  4. mothership says:

    I find it's the only place where you can speak and hear the truth.I'm relieved and delighted to find I'm not the only one who has these thoughts in my head, and that there are actually others out there who APPRECIATE what I have to say and that I have found kindred spirits and other people to learn from. THANK GOD for the blogosphere!

  5. Maternal Tales says:

    You're so right. I did exactly the same thing when I became pregnant – I read every book on Motherhood I could get my hands on – and none of them were as helpful or insightful as almost all of the parent blogs I read. Although I'm glad I've only just discovered them now – or else I would have four years of computer addiction to beat instead of just one!

  6. Kat says:

    When I was pregnant I didn't do a lot of reading. I kept "What to Expect When you are Expecting" on hand just in case I had some sort of weird symptom but other than that I just went with the flow. Then my mom told me "You know when you push that kid out you might poo on the table" and I decided that I needed to keep that kid inside me forever and never have her. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn't like my plan, thankfully she did take mercy on me and I didn't poo on the table. Or at least if I did, nobody told me.

  7. b says:

    What a great post. I never bothered to read up on what to expect, I had lots of people wanting to tell me how to do this, how to do that, I would have loved to have been blogging then as it was quite frustrating and I could have done with a blogging outlet, where people are supportive to what you have to say and you get to hear real truths and stories.

  8. Jonny's Mommy says:

    I read everything I could when I was pregnant. I didn't want any surprises (of course the last surprise was that I didn't know the sex of Jonathan and thought he was a girl for nine months. Go figure.) I wish I'd had blogs to rely on…real stories. It would have been great.Thanks for the links here. I've got to check some of these out!

  9. Potty Mummy says:

    I read a few. Oh, OK, I read them ALL. And I agree with you – the blogs are much more informative and they give you two-way interaction. I'm all for the printed word but it doesn't offer that…

  10. Reasons to be Cheerf says:

    I've been thinking how great it would have been to have had blogging whilst pregnant and the kids were younger, it can be so isolating. I did read all the books but never got too hooked on them. There is a lot of profound stuff written in blogs, I wish more people were so honest xx

  11. Sparx says:

    So much for my evening – I've just spent hours surfing your recommendations… thanks for some great reads!

  12. Reasons to be Cheerf says:

    Hi Tara,A while ago you bestowed me with an award. As a total dimwit I have only just learned how to collect them. If you have any clue roughly which blog it was I'd love to come by and pick it up! Don't worry if you don't remember, but it won't be before Feb as I only started my blog then.Cheers very much! xx

  13. Some wonderful links Tara, I also agree that the blogoshere is a wonderful place for first hand accounts and raw, honest experiences. Most people think parenting blogs are all about nappies!

  14. Vered - MomGrind says:

    Just like you, I read books. I haven't discovered blogs back then. I only discovered blogs when my youngest was already 6 years old.

  15. Claire says:

    Hi there,Sassy site! Just want to invite you to join a new social networkingcommunity…it's global…mainly women from Australia & USA right now but wanting more from UK, Europe & Asia…join us athttp://www.sassy-mamas.com/ Get sassy today! I will also send en email invite!

  16. Coding Mamma (Tasha) says:

    I read lots of books and magazines, too. I also joined parenting forums, which were fantastic. The internet brings us the ability to have access to many, many more other parents than we could in our immediate circle, which means you can almost always find someone going through the same thing as you are or who went through it a few years ago. Very, very useful.

  17. Iota says:

    I didn't read a lot – but it was 12 years ago, and I really think it was different then. I mean, the bugaboo hadn't even been invented.Part of me wishes that I'd discovered blogging earlier. I'm sure it would have helped enormously, when everyone else's baby seemed to be in that magical routine, and mine wasn't at all, and I felt so inadequate. Everyone else seemed so competent, and I felt so hopeless – blogging would have helped. And then through miscarriage and fears of not being able to have another. When everyone said "relax and it'll happen" – blogging would have helped. BUT I know I would have been addicted, and would have spent hours and hours at the computer keyboard, and that might well have brought its own problems. I think I'd have made less effort to get out and about and meet other mums, and I'd have been distracted all the time in my own home – I do think I'd have spent less time focusing on the kids. And whilst blogging brings connection and comfort, it can also bring anxiety – all those scary things that can happen with a baby that I'd have thought twice about or maybe never even have heard of, I'm sure I'd have read plenty of them and then googled all the details.

  18. Noble Savage says:

    I wish I had been reading blogs when I was pregnant with my first child. Would've helped so much. As it is, I only discovered them when she was six months old. Better late than never! I at least got a good idea of what life with two would be like and so felt much more prepared when my son was born.

  19. annie kelleher says:

    stopping over from SITS to say hi! to answer your question… my mother had my younger sister and youngest brother when i was 11 and 16. hands-on training was the best prep for me when i had my kids in my 20's. i knew what to do with my babies cause i had done most of it – except the breastfeeding of course – before!

  20. The Kooky Queen--Rac says:

    Oh my goodness, your blog is SOOOOOOOOOOOO cute!!! Our kids are almost the same ages too! Love your posts!

  21. The Blonde Duck says:

    I'm going to print out this so whenever I get pregnant, I'll be prepared. Popped in from SITS to say hi!

  22. Mum Gone Mad says:

    Hello again 🙂 I didn't have a computer when I was pregnant for the first time (over thirteen years ago eeek!) but I did read everything and anything and watched many many programs on discovery channel about giving birth, frightened myself silly with that. I love reading blogs because it makes me feel connected to "real" people

  23. Tricia says:

    I was just going to spend a few minutes catching up on blogs, but with all these great introductions, I'm sure to be blog jumping for the next hour. I love bloggers who keep it real!

  24. patricia says:

    I read everything when I was pregnant and ate with healthy perfection – I sure could have used a good blog or two to deal with the isolation of the mum experience.I breast fed someone else's baby…though with a cleft palate I had to express it and put it in squeeze bottles….she is now my baby turned 23….making milk was something my body did oh so well and oh so wet – everywhere! I believe my children are healthier…Great post….

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