This morning Little Pea and I took a trip out to our local breastfeeding group. Given that I breastfed The Princess and am fairly passionate about the whole subject, it may come as a surprise that this was my first visit to the group.
After The Princess was born, anxiety and depression kept me indoors and socially detached for a long time. As I started to get better and feel better about myself, I thought about going to the group but felt it was too late to join. Then The Princess decided that Mummy Milk was no longer what she needed, and without a little person to breastfeed there was no reason to attend a breastfeeding group. Obvs.
Since having Little Pea, joining the group on a Tuesday morning has crossed my mind several times, but often toddler tantrums, or arrangements with friends, or the fact that my sister doesn’t normally work Tuesdays, mean that the fleeting idea of strolling up to the children’s centre has come and gone before I’ve really noticed it.
But today, with The Boyfriend at work all day, The Princess at nursery, and no social engagements, there was really no reason for Pea and I not to go. I’m so glad we did. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, not cliquey as I had imagined they might be (not that I have a low opinion of people in general, I’m just not the best at putting myself into unknown group situations, and wonder what I have to offer), Pea had a fabulous time squealing and laughing with the other babies, and I met some very lovely mums. Not only that but the staff are there to offer breastfeeding advice and help, along with buttery toast and hot coffee. Hot coffee! Hands up anyone who gets to drink a hot cuppa with littlies around??
I have spent the last few hours since I got home, inevitably, feeling guilty and disappointed in myself for not making the effort to go there sooner, and for not going with The Princess when she was a baby. I will, no doubt, spend the next few hours berating myself for these feelings of guilt and disappointment.
Guilt-free motherhood may not exist, but at least I know there’s somewhere I can go when I need to drink my coffee while it’s still hot.