Sometimes I don’t like Breastfeeding

Let me start by saying I am so grateful that my body is producing and providing for my baby. I am so grateful we have had a fairly smooth nursing experience. I am so grateful to get to bond with my baby by feeding her this way. Breastfeeding is glorified as this always beautiful, lovely, magical thing. Sometimes it is, but sometimes… I get jealous of formula feeding moms.

I know that as a new mother breastfeeding can be one of the many important things you can do for your baby. I know that there are immense benefits such as passing antibodies and providing a balanced mix of nutrients, even to the extent of the baby’s saliva communicating what it needs at different times in their infancy. It’s connected to higher IQ scores in certain studies, better bonding, and fewer ear and respiratory issues according to WebMd, and as confirmed by The American Academy of Pediatrics helps reduce the risk of SIDS.

Sometimes I don't like breastfeeding.JPG

BUT

I never know how much I’m actually producing, I have to trust my body to just make exactly what my baby needs and maybe a little extra. While a firm believer on letting babies eat whenever and however much, I don’t get that visual confirmation that baby has ate X amount. If I’m going to pump I have to hope that my body will compensate if baby decides to be hungry again shortly after, but again have no guarantee.

I have to constantly be aware of what I’m putting into my body, too much caffeine, spicy foods, or even veggies and fruit could upset a little ones tummy. Certain herbs can pass through to her and potentially cause harm. If I get sick I have to be wary of cold medicines as they can dry up my milk and or pass to the baby.

My breasts are not mine, they are not my husband’s, they are our daughters. So after giving birth, I didn’t really get my body back, I’m still sharing it with my baby. Along that same line, unless I manage to pump any excess, I am still attached to my baby 24/7 for the next however long. If I’m in the tub for the first time in a week for some much needed mommy time, face mask applied, bath bomb fizzing, favorite song on, and baby calls… I’m hoping my bath water stays warm.

My clothes are limited to what can be easily removed for that 24/7 access to my daughter’s meals, and what conceals my less then sexy breast pads, as well as any surprise minor leaks.

I cannot diet or do intense exercise. I have to eat and keep my carb consumption higher in order to keep up a healthy supply…that mystery supply that I can never know how much I am making, makes sense right?

So, that baby weight that isn’t magically melting away with breastfeeding isn’t really going anywhere.

I will be the first to admit that when my daughter pulls away from my breast, fussy for whatever reason today, it’s always a thought that crosses my mind, wouldn’t it just be easier to formula feed? When I see that crisp cold energy drink or quad shot iced coffee in another mother’s hand when I was up feeding baby every hour and a half last night, I think about how nice it would be to have that extra boost to help me fold that mound of laundry. When my week has consisted of a four year old with a million questions about everything climbing on one side of me while I’m nursing baby on the other, and my get away is speed  grocery shopping, the thought of being able to have someone else feed my baby so I can get my toes done and go on a date with husband sounds like pure heaven.

HOWEVER

I know that by choosing to be a mother I chose to do the best for my children with what I have in each and every situation. With my eldest my body stopped producing enough around the 2-3 month mark. So the best decision I could make was to supplement and then switch to formula, so my baby could grow and get the nutrition she needed. She is smart, and vibrant, and formula feeding her is not something I regret.

In this situation, my body is maintaining my supply well. Baby is growing and healthy. She not only is getting the nutrition she needs but extra things like antibodies that protected her when the last bug swept through our family.

So my decision is clear, I will put aside my selfish woes and cravings for that quad shot caramel machiatto and just have a cup of coffee. I will wait to try and burn that extra little bit of baby fluff off with intense exercises and work on maintaining and staying active. I will reheat bath water or just take showers. I will buy clothing that I can still feel attractive in that hides my nursing pads. Lastly, I will continue to pump so that maybe someday soon me and my husband can go on a date that lasts longer then an hour, after I’ve gotten my toes done of course. I will breastfeed until our situation changes. Because in our situation breast is best, for now.

What choices have you made about feeding your little? Have you made choices that are hard for you but best for baby?

Negotiating with a Terrorist

Never did I ever think that I would be faced with someone trying to break me, to force me to do what they want, using torturous techniques to try and get me to give in to their demands…meet my four year old daughter. Since the age of two and a half my daughter has been determined to see me checked into a mental institution. At that age she was asked not to return to a daycare, and had babysitters asking me if she had been screened yet for developmental disabilities. She is perfectly fine may I mention. Due to her flamboyant stubbornness and determination to conquer, every 6 months or so me and my husband have to revisit and restructure our family rules and consequences as to best suit whatever form of mental warfare the four year old is bringing to the table.

Most recently we realized that we were falling into the trap of empty threats, too many bribes, and being worn down by whining and bartering. Every parent I think is guilty of this a little bit… If you don’t get tired and agree to extra screen time just so you can have a cup of coffee in peace then you must have magical powers.  As well as, a hefty dose of back talk each day was leaving us frustrated and quick to react with raised voices and more empty threats. I knew this had to be addressed and quickly if we all wanted to survive.

So in a place of neutrality (the breakfast table) I met with the opposing force. I asked my daughter to tell me what she thought our house rules were. We also discussed the house rules that I knew were there but maybe as a four year old she didn’t realize were actually rules. That was a light bulb moment for me, how could she follow rules that she didn’t know? After making a list of rules together (she wrote the number of the rule) I laid out for her the set consequences that would happen when rules were broken. We discussed how if the consequences happened it would be due to a choice she was making.

Here are the House Rules for The Momffice Clan:

Our House Rules

Our Consequences

I would suggest tailoring these to best fit your child individually, think about what they would see as a real consequence. 

Every time a consequence is chosen by not following the house rules, Mom or Dad explains why the consequence is happening and that she has chosen the consequence by doing/not doing  _____.

1- Deduction of screen time

We use 15-20 minute intervals because we try to limit to 3hrs a day. If we take away hours the time is gone before we know it.

2- Twenty minutes of being “grounded”

The word timeout doesn’t work for us. This is where the four year old sits on her bed, no toys, no books. We do this if no screen time is left OR if the behavior is bad enough that both parties need a break from the warfare. Time can be less for less serious things, but time can also be added, or her time starts over, if a tantrum or back talking occurs after the time starts. Time starts over if she is caught playing. This is the reset button we have found works the best for her.

3- Grounded

The end all. When the parents have given every chance to reset and the screen time is gone, or when we’ve been called losers and screamed at for the whole drive home from a pick up from a friends house because she wants to apparently live with them. This is where she sits on her bed for the rest of the day. She is allowed to use the restroom and if she can maintain good behavior during she can join us for our family meals…where mom reminds her that she loves her and wishes she wasn’t grounded because she doesn’t like it when she is.

It’s been an adjustment for all of us, husband and I have to make sure to be mindful of our execution of the consequences, and follow through for this process to work. However, it has completely eliminated any reason to raise our voices. Of course she is adapting and trying to find new ways to get us to give into her demands at times but we are holding strong. After all, we don’t negotiate with terrorists…unless we really need five minutes with a cup of joe and some sanity.  

I hope this post leaves you inspired or provided some light bulb moments about rules, like it did for me. What do you do to provide structure in your home for your children? Have you found something like this or of your own design to be helpful as a teaching and growing method?