What does the Fox Say?
“Phokoje go tsela o dithetsenya“.
According to the South African Tswana peoples.
Translating to: Only the muddy fox lives.
Which means you can’t truly live and learn and grow, unless you jump into whatever obstacle you were put here to overcome.
Get active, get in that river of life, and do your best to swim.
Fail. And then try again.
But get muddy.
The other day I was talking to some mamas in the Fox River Mamas meet-up group, and I was telling them about when my first husband and his mother forced me to stop breastfeeding my first son at his year birthday.
I stopped myself and thought to myself that I don’t even know who that girl is anymore.
The instantly obedient, meek, fearful girl that listened to her husband and his mother tell her how she needed to feed her child.
Are you taking care of him daily?
Well, then thank you for the opinion but I think I will do what I feel is best.
Instead, I cried and begged my husband and mother-in-law telling them that you needed to wean slowly or else it would be physically painful to me and harder on my son, but then listened to their ridiculousness.
I snuck off to the bathroom and relieved my engorged breasts while fat tears rolled down my face.
And then I weaned my son.
Because they told me to.
I am so glad that now I tell that story with a sense of incredulousness because I have no idea who that girl is and why in the world she would let someone dictate to her like that.
And my daughters, God willing, will never know who that girl is either.
And part of why I have come so far, and my fur is so muddy is because of my mama friends who helped me realize the normalcy of breastfeeding and that in many cultures, one year is not extended breastfeeding and that it is not gross nor wrong nor shameful but actually beneficial for children.
As my mother has often pointed out, you cannot choose your family, and many of us have challenges with our spouses, but every single day, you can choose your friends.
Choose woman who are kind and supportive and listen and help each other out, especially if you have not quite figured out this thing called family and more often than not, it is work, than be sure that when you think of your friends, it puts a smile on your face and in your heart.
Choose other Foxy Mamas who will help you swim, who you can watch and say to yourself, ‘well, if they did it, I can do it, too.’ I can make a little progress here.
And then Get Muddy.
A Big Fat Thank You to All of My Mama Friends.