Being interviewed by a journalist.
What was it like? Why did I say yes to the interview?
A couple of weeks ago you may have seen that my breastfeeding journey hit the UK media online. It has been shared by the likes of Tamara Ecclestone on Instagram and I’ve been contacted by a number of journalists from around the world interested in hearing my story too. What a week that was! I was advised not to read any comments online and for the most part I haven’t. I knew that there would inevitably be some negativity but as I’ve said in posts on my social media, this article isn’t for the judgers or the people who have forgotten to keep their negativity to themselves. Instead it’s for the Mothers out there who didn’t know this was an option for them, for the Mothers who are feeding into toddlerhood who are feeling alone and to remind people to support their loved ones who have made this choice.
But of course I have seen a few comments, it’s pretty hard not to! A couple of people decided I was after my five minutes of fame, pretty laughable really if they realised the conversations I’d had deciding whether or not I should share my story. Or that I’d “gone to the papers” to promote myself. A lovely journalist contacted me via my Instagram feed, I definitely didn’t seek to share! Though even if I had, my choice to make.
So what’s it like speaking with a journalist about your life? Well in all honesty it’s a little odd. This is simply my life and to me there definitely isn’t anything newsworthy about it. But I did a lot of thinking and realised that this wasn’t about me at all, I was just sharing my experience to inform others of this choice you get to make for yourself. A choice that is only based upon the happiness of two people – You and your child! It’s that simple.
It’s not your friends choice, your mums choice or even your partners choice. It’s yours! If by sharing my story I empower just one mother to follow her heart then this will have been worth it.
And to the mothers that are breastfeeding their toddler or beyond. I want them to be proud of their achievement, it’s not all easy. I know so many mothers, myself included, that have experienced aversion around the age of 2. Yet they have pushed through it, with their child completely unaware of how their feeding made their mother curl her toes or grit her teeth for a time! It is ok to be proud of this, it is ok to celebrate your body. It doesn’t matter what your reasoning behind continuing to breastfeed your child is, you are following your heart and that is all we can ever do. What is right for your family isn’t the same for another, possibly even your best friend or sister! But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be proud. We all achieve different things in our lives and all those achievements should be celebrated.
And to the partners, the families, the friends, thank you for supporting her. Support is so important in the early days but in some ways it is needed even more as your nursling gets older. They need to know that you love them, that you support them. More importantly that you love them unconditionally and are respectful of her choice. It may not be the path for you, but for her this continues to be a huge part of her life. She needs to know that you love her without judgement.
And to the people that judge a woman for feeding her child with her breasts, no matter their age, shame on you. They are not your breasts, you have no ownership over how long she uses them for. Remember to show respect to your fellow human beings, your fellow parents dealing with their own struggles. It’s as simple as remembering to be kind!
Erin from the Press Association was so lovely to speak with. She understood how important this is to me, to create a positive and realistic article about natural term breastfeeding. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t nervous about the story being picked up by the media. I was petrified! A friend encouraged me to think how I’d feel about the story resurfacing in years to come when my children are older. I’ll admit that for a couple of minutes my mind wondered about my boys feeling embarrassed at school or April hating that I’d chosen to share images of the two of us. It didn’t take me long at all to realise that this isn’t how I’m raising my children, to hide from the truths of their childhoods or forget about how my breasts nourished them all. I hope for my boys to grow up to be supportive of their future partners and to their sister. To be cheerleaders of any woman who chooses to breastfeed her child. To see it as normality as they grow up. And my daughter, she may well remember the days that she breastfed, she’ll remember the closeness that we shared.
Oh and the messages I’ve received! Amazing! Mothers who have thanked me, who have told me I’m brave and that they’ve loved seeing a positive article out there. Mothers who haven’t breastfed telling me how lovely it was to read. Words of encouragement and admiration, it’s made it all worth it. I’m overwhelmed by all the positivity, it’s been incredible!
I will continue to speak freely about our breastfeeding journey and I can’t wait to photograph more women with their children in the years to come. My NOURISH ME project will be starting soon too, a photography project where I hope to capture those breastfeeding beyond two years. I currently have a lovely list of women willing to take part but I will be announcing dates soon and may even set up a Facebook group or page to help. This will be an ongoing project.
Places I’ve seen my story –
Have you seen it anywhere else?