Tag Archives: motherhood

Breastfeeding: Part 1-It’s Complicated

I have, thus far, stayed away from Hot Button Issues (mostly) in my writings.
But it’s World Breastfeeding Week, and I am feeling the need to reflect on my own journey, as I have both succeeded and failed at breastfeeding.

I am always hesitant to write about breastfeeding because I’m worried people will feel like I am “parenting at them.” I am afraid people will try to educate me about breastfeeding. I am worried I’ll trigger someone with breastfeeding trauma. (Or I should say, I’ll trigger someone ELSE with breastfeeding trauma, as I used to be triggered).

Please know this: I think every mom makes the best decision for herself and her baby with love in her heart. I know, in my decisions, that I did. Secondly, while I learn new things about breastfeeding, children, and babies in general daily (let’s be honest, I learn things about EVERYTHING daily),I do my damnedest not to present a “fact” that isn’t something I actually can cite. In certain circles in which I travel, breastfeeding has become so political that simple facts about breast milk and nursing are challenged if they aren’t “Lactavist-y” enough. At the end of the day, we are mammals, and therefore we lactate. Just like cats, monkeys, goats, or three-toed sloths. Unlike other mammals, however, we have other things to do besides lie on our sides and nurse after we have babies. Also our babies can’t walk within hours of being born.

But I digress.

Lastly, this is much more personal than my general flippant rants and/or mushy hallmark moments that I share. Given conversations I’ve had with Mammas and Mammas-To-Be be in my life recently, I am moved to share my experiences because they have been both incredibly traumatic and incredibly healing. I’ve received feedback that sharing my story has been helpful.

I’m nervous, but this is a part of my own process I’m ready to tackle. Writing, sharing-it’s all part of the journey for me.

Those of you who have encouraged me to talk, to share- thank you.

More tomorrow.

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Today is One of Those Days

Today is one of those days that begins the night before, when you get home from the first date night (date hour, actually) that you’ve had in months and your six month old vomits all over the first actual clothes you’ve worn all week.

Today is one of those days your ear still won’t pop and you can’t take decongestant because it will dry up the breast milk said six month old vomited all over you again at 4:30 AM (in your bed) while your feverish two year old cried in the bathroom with her dad (who may have also wanted to cry, if I had to take a guess.)

Today is one of those days your 2 year old eats a pickle for breakfast.

Today is one of those days both your children cry while you take a shower at 1 PM to finally rinse off the 4:30 AM vomit. But you don’t get to shower much because your 2 year old comes in, crying, to report her sister is, in fact, crying.

Today is one of those days you have one baby in the baby sling and the other in your lap when really, you want to drop them off at the fire station on your way to go beg your own mom to hold you and feed you. Which won’t happen because the thought of anyone, including your mom, seeing you in this state is too much to bear; and anyway, your kids won’t stop crying long enough to get them ready to go anywhere.

Today is one of those days you cry along with your kids while texting your husband at work that you can’t do this, you can’t be mom today. While you do this they cry that they want daddy and you sob, “Me, too.”

Today is one of those days you wish your kids would just watch more TV, so maybe you could wash vomit and phlegm out of every item of clothing (and sheets) in the house. This proves impossible as you continue your job as Human Hankie.

Today is one of those days you don’t want to admit to, ever, to your family, your friends, your spouse-yourself. It’s too messy, angry, tired, snappy, crabby. You signed up for matching Easter dresses and playing at the playground and re-watching Disney movies. Not piles of dirty laundry, backed up paperwork from work, and Puffs all over the floor.

Today is just one. of. those. days.

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Listening to the Universe

Sometimes, you just can’t force things.

While many mothers open up about their struggles with nursing-and just so you know, I’ve been there-I’ve been struggling with the opposite issue.

Despite starting early with her, and lots of practice, one day my daughter up and decided she would not drink from a bottle. And that was it. I’d go to work, and she’d wait and cry until I came back.

We tried many things. None of them worked.

As you can imagine, this is not a way to make friends with babysitters. Even if that babysitter is not actually a babysitter but your breast-less spouse.

And many mothers struggle with the work-life balance. As an until-recently full-time working mom, I’ve been there too.

In the midst of this feeding struggle, our regular childcare, aka “Nonna-care” got sick.

Frustration set in. How was I going to work? I had already gone part-time. “Part-time” is a generous description to describe how much I was working. Plus, my main caretaker was out for the count, for awhile, and my baby wouldn’t eat for her anyway, so now what?

After getting really angry (which, btw, solved a lot) I decided that the universe was sending me a message, and maybe I should listen to it.

This is a departure from my usual pragmatism. And a big hit to my need to “contribute” financially to my family.

Apparently, I needed to contribute to my family by spending a lot of time with my children. And by arranging an already flexible work schedule around my daughter’s feedings. And by strengthening a new friendship and sharing childcare for when each of us work. And learning, from this relationship, that this balance is tough but doable-and that I’m not the only one who struggles with self-worth, feminism, financial realities, and family.

Once I stopped raging against these situations, solutions slowly have-and continue to-emerge.

I’m learning to just go with it.

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