As a parent with two children, I always wanted to treat my children the same. As with any parent you want to equally love your children, support them the same because a parent’s heart sees their children in the same light. When I was pregnant with my youngest child I went above and beyond to make my older daughter feel included. Even with the excitement surrounding her of her little sister’s upcoming arrival I wanted to still make my big girl feel equal. I was essentially succeeding in making her feel like she was included, but I was hit with a massive wave of guilt when my youngest arrived. See, I decided to breastfeed my youngest daughter but nearly three years before I was unsuccessful in my decision to breastfeed my first daughter. That guilt lingered on me and ate at my consciousness for a while until I came to an understanding with myself.
When I reached the two-week milestone in breastfeeding my youngest, I was hit with a train of emotions because it was during this time years before that I had stopped my journey in breastfeeding my oldest. I prided myself on treating my girls the same, but I felt I was failing by far and this feeling mixed with going from one child to two and the reemergence of the feelings I first felt when I initially stopped breastfeeding my oldest coupled together almost sent me into a downward spiral until I found understanding.
When I would hear about breastfeeding it was always that breastfeeding is best, the bond between mother and child is so much stronger when you breastfeed, children need the nutrients of breastmilk. All of this rang through my head like clockwork eating at my conscience. As an already new, vulnerable mother it stuck to me and drained me even to the point of physically. I had to learn to realize that I can’t go back in time and change how I went about my first journey of motherhood because I wasn’t the same person I was then as I am now. I did what was best for my daughter and myself when I decided to switch to formula at 2 weeks and there is no need in feeling guilty about doing your best, my daughter was feed and very very much loved and that’s all that matters. I also realized that motherhood isn’t defined by breastfeeding or bottle-feeding and neither is a bond and no two individual journeys of motherhood are the same even when it comes to the same mother and her individual children but that love that develops is the same. In the end, that realization let my mother’s heart rest.