I'm not great at taking advice. Or at asking for help. So when I decided to breastfeed, I didn't consult friends or family. Instead, I signed up for a class. I did research online. I read books. I decided I was going to figure it out on my own.
Just like I'd done with so many other things in my life.
And after the baby was born, it was me, myself and I navigating the waters of breastfeeding. My husband was there too and incredibly supportive but he was playing just as many guessing games as I was. It's not like he had any first hand experience. He knew it and I knew it. But he wasn't about to suggest I ask for help. I was hormonal!
And deep down, I knew I should ask for help. There were many family members who told me should I ask for advice, they'd be happy to supply it. There were friends I knew had breastfed and knew could help me. There were mom groups I knew I could join- that I’d been invited to join!
But instead I chose to be a community of one. And in hindsight, I wish I'd allowed myself to ask for help. I wish I'd let myself be a little needy and vulnerable instead of wanting to be tough and "figure it out". Instead of being insistent that I prove to myself that I could do it on my own. Because that was just plain silly.
Thankfully I had (and still have!) the Bravado community. Bravado helped me understand that the breastfeeding community is a tight group- always there for each other. I learned that it's okay to ask for help. That it's okay to admit it's hard. That it can be frustrating. I learned that you don't have to be a community of one.