Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Motherhood Take Two...

Before I was a mom, I was a REALLY good parent...meaning I could easily spot all the things other people were doing wrong with their kids...then I became a mom and realized I had been a fool.  I realized that you do what you have to do to survive.

I have had friends tell me that I  give great advice when it comes to parenting or babies or whatever, truthfully I never believed it.  Now, I know for sure that it isn't the case, I am clueless.  I just got LUCKY folks.  I had a EASY baby, don't hate me.  A baby that loved to sleep (and still does), a baby that rarely cried except when hungry, a baby that only cried through the night when he was sick (and that wasn't until he was 10 months old).  I got LUCKY.  He breastfed the first time I put him to the breast, and while we had a few beginning hiccups the first few weeks, it was pretty much a seamless transition.  He ate, he grew, he got fat, we were all happy.

I didn't understand moms who said that "breastfeeding didn't work out" I secretly thought they just didn't try hard enough or maybe they didn't like the uncertainty of it all, that they preferred knowing exactly how much their baby was eating, maybe they were control freaks.  After all, breastfeeding was easy, right?  My apologies ladies...I get it now.  I didn't realize how lucky I really got the first time around, and that's exactly what it was LUCK.  I now am realizing that sometimes no matter how much you work, how hard you try, or how much you try to will something in to being, sometimes it just doesn't go to plan.  Seems that little Bowen might be a big flashing message to me from God that I am not in control, that I need to learn flexibility.  This message has been coming loud and clear since January in the form of a high risk pregnancy, a breech baby and subsequent c section, and now a baby that just doesn't want to breastfeed.  Apparently, I haven't been listening.  I am ready to listen now.

I haven't totally give up control yet, but I am coming close.  I am realizing that sometimes "breast is NOT best" contrary to what all the experts say.  What is best is being a mom that I can be proud of, one that has the time and energy to devote to my active 20 month old and one that has the time to nurture my 2.5 week old, not the kind of mom that is exhausted with breastfeeding, pumping and bottle feeding.  Something has to give.  I wish the issue would correct itself, and it still may, but the lactation people have one more chance to salvage things and then we are going to have to move on to hopefully greener pastures.  The bottom line is that I want to enjoy my babies, and anything that takes away that joy and creates stress, just isn't worth it, no matter the potential health benefits.

I know this is a lot of information to share, but it has come to my attention recently that a lot more people read this blog than I ever realized.  A lot of other mamas out there, or soon to be mamas.  There is a lot of pressure these days to breastfeed.  I feel it.  It's partly why I want it to work out so much.  I feel like I need someone to tell me that it is okay if it doesn't work out and that I have given it every chance that I can.  So instead, I am telling anyone reading this that if you are struggling, have struggled or may potentially struggle with breastfeeding and you have tried as much as you feel necessary and don't think you want to continue, it is okay.  You are a good mother and breastfeeding does not define motherhood, the relationship you have or will have with your child, and your child will grow up happy, healthy and secure, I did.  Now if I can only heed my own advice!

2 comments:

  1. girl i am so in your boat... so, so in your boat. did the best i could and struggled for a long time but we're now on formula only and things are going just fine... better in fact. call me if you need to!!

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  2. 1) You are an AWESOME mama
    2) You have fantastic advice
    3) Preach it girl. Love your honesty
    4) I think we need to grab a drink soon, deal?

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