Your emotional response might not be because of my post.
“We are committed to excellent education, unconditional support, informed choice…”
The commitment to excellent education means delivering the most up to date, science based FEDANT approved information that we have available.
Means no judgement on any Daisy Teachers behalf about what you chose or why – ever.
Your choices, informed by your thoughts, feelings, emotions and knowledge. In the abridged words of January Harshe: I don’t care what birth you had, as long as you had choices.
What makes us unique and wonderful is the fact that we are not all the same. How boring that would be?! Yet when it comes to pregnancy, birth and parenting it seems to be really hard to celebrate these differences.
Part of the reason for this difficulty is the sheer weight of emotion that goes with becoming a mother. We become tired, hormonal, perhaps anxious human beings looking after life at it’s most fragile and it is hard, very very hard to read about how CIO is “terrible” when we are on the very edge of sanity from exhaustion.
Are we really free to make genuine choices that are really our own? Is the mum who is unable to breastfeed because she has to return to work really making a choice? Is the the mum who uses sleep training really making a choice when she has no family around her to take the baby and allow her to rest? Is the mum who opts to use formula because she’s been told it will help her baby sleep really making a choice?
Your Emotional Response.
If you read an article or blog which does not fit with your life experience it may be that you can take it lightly, with a pinch of salt or just shrug it off as one of those things. You are quite happy with the choices you made, they are working for you, and that is great! Really great – I applaud the mums, dads and families amoung us who can allow themselves that degree of self love.
But for some of the reasons mentioned above you may feel a huge emotional response to articles which you read that don’t align with your personal experience or current emotional state. This is completely natural and normal – most likely everyone experiences emotions like this at some time or another. Reading words on the internet is also fraught with difficulty. Your own voice weighs in and you perhaps read accusation where warmth was intended.
Sometimes what we might actually be feeling is guilt or sorrow about our own past decisions and how it may or may not have affected our own children. We feel angry that we couldn’t have done it differently or that life and circumstance made it otherwise. We feel judged – but I wonder how much of that feeling of judgement comes from the words on the screen or our own critical inner voice, the sorrow, the feelings of personal failure, the internal struggle, the trauma experienced.
I have seen women lambast breastfeeding articles for ‘shaming’ women who can’t breastfeed because they themselves couldn’t. But reading on the actual reasons these women couldn’t breastfeed were astonishing – cancer survivors, auto-immune disease sufferers to say but a few. For these women this was never a choice, the choice was cruelly taken away. This is an extreme example to highlight the diffculty in unpicking the reasons that women and people feel upset, judged or angry about articles especially to do with pregnancy and parenting.
We have few spaces in modern society which allow a person space to fully experience their emotions without someone jumping in to share worse stories, offer a conciliatory ‘there there’ or roll out mantra’s such as ‘at least you have a healthy baby’.
Holding a space which is committed to excellent education but knowing that the sharing of such information may ellicit strong emotional responses in individuals is a tough balancing act and one that every Daisy teacher strives to achieve in person, online and with every mum and dad.
So if you recognise something in this blog or if you go on to read something which causes you pain and upset – that’s OK. You are allowed these feelings. But before you comment, before you berate yourself or the author or the person sharing – take a breath, count to three and figure out what it is you are upset about and be kind to yourself.
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Maya Angelou
(Contributed by our Sheffield teacher Fi Hennessy)