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17 In The blog

Dear other mum in café: I get it. Or do I?

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Hello there.

Hi. I’m just on the other side of the café. I can see you. You’ve just walked in with your baby, manoeuvred your buggy through the queue and one-handedly got yourself, baby and cuppa to the sofa. Nice work.

What I also mean is, I can “see” you. I get it. As you start feeding your baby, I notice you glancing around the café. Most probably wondering what people are thinking, hoping they are not judging you for feeding in public. Don’t worry, my love, if anyone is judging you, it says more about them and you mustn’t worry. I remember when mine was really little, I was always aware of what people might be thinking about how I was feeding my baby.

You look tired – you must be tired. Your baby probably isn’t sleeping, is he? You’ve been up half the night – you must have been. It’s hard, isn’t it? Being a new mum. I  felt perpetually shattered and there were times when it was really really hard to deal with the day-to-day when I was so sleepy.

So don’t worry. I get it. I get you.

Or do I, actually?

How can I? I don’t know you from Adam. You seem very nice, but we’ve never spoken so I have no idea how you are finding motherhood. You may feel totally cool about feeding your baby, and just be checking out the room, or day-dreaming. We’ve never spoken and you’re not me.

You might be tired. You might have a brilliant sleeper and get a full night. In which case, good for you! How do I know? We’ve never spoken and you’re not me.

You may be finding motherhood hard, you may be finding it just ok, you may be totally loving it. I hope it’s the latter, but how could I know? We’ve never spoken and you’re not me. Just because you’re a mum, do you have to be having an awful time? Couldn’t it also be quite nice? Who knows? You do.

Your story is your story, and mine is mine. As a fellow mum, I am rooting for you. I hope you are ok. But until we meet in person and I hear your story first hand (if you need to and have no-one else, I’m quite nice, so I’ve been told, and do love a good yarn), I’m not going to pretend to know how you will feel. Only you can know that and only you can decide to share.

So I hope you are ok, I really do. From here it looks like you’re doing brilliantly, but then that’s the key phrase, isn’t it, “from here”. Only you can see it from there.

Enjoyed this post? Come and join No More Shoulds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together, let’s lose “should” for good!

 

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    themotherhub
    August 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Lovely post. We can only see how things ‘seem’ or appear ; you can never really know what it’s like for others

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      August 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Ah thank you! Yes that’s exactly it. I’m really glad you enjoyed it x

  • Reply
    Honest Mum
    August 18, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    An important reminder, we think we understand and in many cases we do but so much goes on that just sight cannot offer insight x

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      August 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      It’s so true. I’ve been victim to it and guilty of it in equal measure over the years. Hoping we can change the dialogue on it all, bit by bit, post by post 😊 Thanks for commenting x

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 18, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    This strikes a chord and is so very true! You never know what’s going on with others and it’s very easy to project your own insecurities or prejudices (good or bad) on to them. Lovely post #bloggerclubuk

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      August 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Ah thank you Sarah – much appreciated. Hopefully we can start to change the thinking around it, bit by bit, as a community. X

  • Reply
    Something About Baby
    August 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    A very true post – you never know how anyone is feeling until you speak to them. But I love your sense of solidarity, however a mum is coping, it’s always great to know someone has your back. Even if they are a stranger! #BloggerClubUK

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      August 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Ah thanks! Yes it is all about the solidarity – slowly I think the dialogue is shifting but we’ve a long way to go! X

  • Reply
    alifeinpracticeblog.com
    August 18, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    This is really sweet, it actually choked me up a little because i’ve been there, on both side, we all have. I remember in the past treating myself to a hot chocolate and glancing around the cafe wondering if people noticed how tired or stressed I looked, afraid they’d think I was a bad mum for not holding it all together perfectly, for forgetting to put on make-up to hide my tiredness etc. I feel a sense of delayed gratitude thanks to this post 🙂 #stayclassymama

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      August 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Oh I’m so glad it helped! It was exactly this kind of situation from the other side which got me writing in first place!

  • Reply
    Samsam - Simply A Mama
    August 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    This is a great post…It’s beautiful to simply support each other and root for one another even if we never spoken before or don’t know each other #brillblogposts

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      August 18, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Ah thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 😊 You’re right it is so important! X

  • Reply
    theirishbabyfairy
    August 18, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Really like this post. Shows we can’t make assumptions based on our own experience. Reminds me of people asking me if having a baby will make me a better midwife? Eh no, probably not as my experience is my own and I’ve no idea how other people are feeling unless they tell me. I can’t presume that because I liked bouncing on a ball that anyone else will! #StayClassyMama

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      August 18, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      That’s so interesting! I have a friend who is an o&g registrar and she feels exactly the same as you. Thanks so much for reading – I’m really glad you enjoyed it x

  • Reply
    rightroyalmother
    August 19, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    You’re so right and often I have been guilty of jumping in to situations that ‘seem’ real. But I would imagine that most new mums feel exactly as you have described. Whenever I went into a cafe in the first year of both NG and NC’s lives, that is EXACTLY what was going on! #stayclassymama

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      August 19, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Haha me too! Just check out my About page – it’s why I started writing in the first place 😊 thanks for chatting x

  • Reply
    The Mum Project
    August 24, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Love this! I have had the same conversation with a fellow mum in my head, except for she is pregnant and was sitting on the train next to me. Every story is different, I never judge because you never know what is actually going on in someone else’s mind. They could be having a wonderful day but they may look sad! I’ve always been told I look sad but on the inside I’m doing just fine. I love the message of this post, I hope your motherhood is going well too : ). Thanks for making me smile and sharing with #StayClassyMama!

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