A Month Of Sundays

There are days when the house is a mess, there’s no food in the fridge and I haven’t slept in what feels like a decade.

There are days when breastfeeding has hit headlines, and not in a good way.  Days when the radio tells me of cuts to maternity services and hikes in the number of moms dealing with postpartum depression.

Some days, it all just feels a little…short on hope?

And then I open my mailbox and there waiting for me is a shiny, golden letter.  Ok, maybe not quite a shiny and golden letter, but certainly a heartfelt and honest email.  And the email is always the same…in that, it’s always unique.

These emails tell me stories.  Stories of moms just like me.  Stories of messy houses and sunken hearts.  Stories of bodies that have grown and shrunk and grown again.  Stories of struggle, perseverance and triumph.

These are the stories of motherhood and I am honoured to receive them.

If you’ve stopped by my Facebook page, you’ll know that I share glimpses into the lives of real moms and their unique breastfeeding journeys.  And October saw the launch of these unique tales being shared on my website too.  Why?  To reach out a hand and welcome more moms into the fold.  To empower us.  To show that differences and similarities can both be celebrated.  To prove that breastfeeding is more than simply a divisive media tool – it can (and does) unite us.

We needed to hear about Linnea’s story; about her all-consuming love for her daughter, because it gave us a sense of empowerment in our own unconditional love for our children.  To capture the sense of connection that every single one of us feels at the pit of our stomach and to share it with the world, is true sisterhood and empowerment personified:

We needed to hear about Nykole’s story; about her triumphs in the face of limited support, because it gave us the determination to ignore the haters and reach out with support to the mom struggling beside us:

We needed to hear about Amanda’s story; about her skills at juggling breastfeeding and work, because it gave us the confidence to maintain our own breastfeeding relationships upon re-entering the workforce.  To hear that there are other moms doing it already - and with twins! - is nothing short of inspiring.  And let’s give a standing ovation to technology here, too.  Because the leading players in the pumping industry, such as Lansinoh, are consistently improving the technology that allows working moms to continue their breastfeeding stories…such as developing silicone nipples soft enough to enable baby to use the same feeding motions used at the breast, thus avoiding nipple confusion when mom and baby are apart...and making it easier to bring baby back to the breast when they are together again:

And yes, we needed to hear about Dainah’s story; about her journey into the misunderstood world of full-term breastfeeding, because knowing that this path is already well trodden, makes it feel so much more accessible to those moms about to take their first steps along it:

Because we live in a world where stories are abundant.  But so often they are negative, or bookmarked for ‘later’.  We need these real snapshots of life here on the ground…where motherhood is a label we wear with pride, alongside the spaghetti-stains and muddy footprints of course.  Which is why I feel honoured to be able to share these stories each week, and particularly humbled to confirm that this series is set to continue!

So what’s your story, mama?

Thank you to each mama who told her story for this feature.  For more glimpses into real life breastfeeding, join the Mama Bean village on Facebook!

Related posts:

If you'd like to receive new posts from Mama Bean Parenting straight to your inbox, just click here