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Good Days and Bad Days

Stacie Bingham
Chico CA USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 21 No. 5, September-October 2004, p. 175

I recently had the privilege of spending a few hours with a dear friend, Sharon, who was a La Leche League Leader and a homebirth midwife for more than 20 years. Her husband was a doctor who pioneered homebirths in the 1960s, and she began assisting him. After he passed away, she continued attending homebirths as a lay midwife for 19 years. To say she is a wealth of information and insight is an understatement of huge proportion.

Sharon is the mother of two girls, now grown with children of their own. Her LLL experience began when she moved into a new house in 1972. Her neighbor noticed she was pregnant and came over to chat.

"Have you ever thought of breastfeeding?" her neighbor inquired.

"Why yes," Sharon told her, "I breastfed my first child for six months." Her neighbor then invited her to an LLL Meeting. Sharon was quickly touched by the organization and knew she found a place where she could make a difference. She decided to become a Leader.

Sharon has countless rich stories one cannot help but enjoy and learn from. After my first baby was born, Sharon told me the following information about her daughter, Amy.

Amy was a very high-need baby. Many times, Sharon would have to sit and rock her through much of the night. She would sit in her living room, so grateful there was no window nearby, because if there had been, she felt as if she might have tossed Amy out.

Knowing Sharon as I do, it is easy for me to laugh at this story. She so kind, gentle, caring, and sensitive. But I still appreciate the moral behind the story. She told it to me to assure me that if I felt like that once in a while, it did not mean I was a horrible person or a bad mother.

We all experience good days and bad days as mothers. Having a negative thought should not bring guilt. What comes after the thought is what is important. Can we laugh with our children in the midst of a mess? Can we let go of our high expectations and try to enjoy life moment to moment? Can we help another mother when she is in a slump? Can we be honest enough to ask for help when we feel pushed beyond our limits?

Sharon's parting words to me that day were, "Tell all the mothers you know my Amy story. Tell them all about me. And then tell them I made it."

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