Tag Archives: nursing

Girl Talk Thursday – Job venting

I’ve always known I wanted to stay at home with my kids while they were small. We planned for it ahead of time and hammered out most of the details. My 9 to 5 consists of caring for the child(ren). If I can get things done around the house — FANTASTIC. If not? Evenings and weekends it is. When Matt gets home, we try to go 50/50. He takes over with the girls, I start dinner. We do most of the shopping together. He lets me sleep an extra hour or two on the weekends.

Basically? I have it pretty good.

When it comes to venting, the best I can muster up is a little list I like to call

WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY TRYING TO DO TO ME WITH THIS TOMFOOLERY?

Fighting over my lap. This one is new. If one is in my lap, the other is AUDIBLY DISPLEASED. Even if, in the split seconds prior to noticing the other receiving my attention, they were happily ensconced in independent play. The only solution I’ve found is (aside from when I need to nurse the baby) THERE IS NO LAP TIME WITH MOMMY. Not unless the other one is asleep. Or lost in the house somewhere. Not that that’s ever happened. For long.

Pulling hair. Hands down? My number one complaint about having girls. (Other than the trashy clothes companies seem to think I’ll be on board with. HALTER TOPS? SERIOUSLY?) There is hair all over the place! For to be grabbing! And Roo loves to pull hair. Because Roo loves to EAT HAIR. Vio, bless her heart, runs away from her in terror at times. A ponytail and barrettes solves the problem, but you can guess how often Miss Stringy Bangs allows for that. Sigh.

Hungry every 12 minutes. Both of them. They want to eat/drink/nurse all the time. Roo is a snack-nurser. Five minutes and she’s good to go — for about an hour. She settles in before her naps and bed, but beyond that? SNACK NURSING. I’ve tried to be all staunch and lay down the law and force her to wait two hours, and sometimes that works, but I’ll be damned if I can resist a tiny person beating her head against my chest and clawing at my shirt like a terrified kitten. I AM NOT HEARTLESS.

Vio, on the other hand? In an average morning, she will eat a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, a string cheese or cup of yogurt, and at least one other serving of fruit. Sometimes also a scrambled egg. That is from 7-11AM. (At which point she wants elevenses. HOBBIT CHILD.) None of those foods are eaten together. I’ll let you do the math on dividing the number of hours by the number of snacks and carrying ones and all that BS, because I don’t have the time WHAT WITH ALL THIS SNACK-MAKING.

General unpredictability. I know this is true of any job — hell, anyone’s life — at any given moment, but holy fracksticks, you guys. I never know if it’s going to be a good night or a bad night. How much will I get to sleep tonight? is a constant thought in my mind. Will the girls get along? Will they nap well so we can get out of the house on time? Will Roo scream for the entire car ride? I’ve had to learn to dial my expectations down to a zero. Even after 3+ years of this, I still expect that however things are at THIS moment is how they will stay. Baby is up all night long? Vio throwing non-stop tantrums? JESUS CHRIST, IT’S A LION! GET IN THE CAR! Baby’s sleeping well? Everyone’s getting along? OH WE SERIOUSLY DODGED A BULLET THANK GOODNESS THAT’S OVER!

It’s, uh. Unproductive. At best.

So, that’s what I’ve got. How about you? Mom venting? Workplace venting? Still in college venting? We’re looking for all of it over at Girl Talk Thursday. Play along!

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Filed under Girl Talk Thursdays, Motherhood uncensored, My girls, NaBloPoMo

Second verse

It’s pretty trite to say when you bring home a new baby for the first time, your life changes. I knew OUR life would change — that collective life my husband and I share — forever. I knew there would be less going out, there would be less time for each other, there would be less of everything (except, obviously, love.) What I somehow didn’t expect was how much MY life would change. I forgot to consider my life as an individual. Sure, I’d thought about how it meant putting off getting settled in my career and shelving the idea for a Ph.D. for some time, but the concept of minute-to-minute changes was foreign to me.

The most startling change came as a result of deciding to be a nursing mother. (Now here I say I “decided” to be a nursing mother, as though it was 100 percent in my control, and fully admitting there was a lot of luck involved. Any of us who has nursed or attempted to nurse a baby knows it isn’t always that simple, and I’m very grateful I had that opportunity.) Because I was nursing, I was the one who soothed her when she cried, who tended to her in the night, who felt as though I was the only one who could care for her properly. And I resented it. A little bit. Because while I was attached to the baby, my husband was at work, living the exact same life he had lived just a month prior.

[At this point, I feel I need to point out that this was NOT the case at all. Matt is an exceptional father. He makes me look bad in comparison, honestly, and he’d have Vio in his arms every single moment she wasn’t nursing. But he still couldn’t NURSE her, and that was the only difference my sleep-deprived-baby-blues-addled brain needed to justify the resentment.]

At the hospital, I passed Vio off to Matt as often as I could. She needed to suckle almost constantly, so he would let her suck on his fingers for an hour so I could get some rest. She was mildly jaundiced and slightly dehydrated, and looking back on it now I blame that “laziness” in the hospital. (Which is slightly ridiculous, but HI AM MOTHER GOTS GUILT.) As soon as Vio hit three or four weeks old, or however old I arbitrarily determined she would no longer confuse my nipple with the one on the bottle, I started pumping so the feeding duties could be spread out. This gave me such tremendous relief, knowing not every drop of her food had to come at the expense of my ability to move about the house freely. But. This created another problem.

I am GOOD at getting things done that need to get done, but I really only shine when I know I have to be the one to do them. I always dread my husband’s business trips, but I feel I come alive when he’s gone, knowing I have to rely on myself and no one else. The chores that would be bothersome to me when he is here become part of What Must Be Done, and I take pride in pushing through it all.

Once I knew I didn’t have to be the one to feed her all the time, it became MORE of a chore to feed her if someone else was around. Why was I having to be tied to the baby when she could be given a bottle? I still loved to nurse her. I treasured every one of those moments curled up with her on the couch or snuggled in bed late at night. But if I wasn’t the only one home, I wanted nothing to do with it. (There is a whole story here about Vio’s reflux and how I had to stop nursing and switch to pumping when she was around 4 months old, which SHATTERED me, but that is neither here nor there in relation to this post.)

Fast-forward two years later when Roo was born. In the hospital, I nursed that little baby just as much as I could. If she needed to suckle, I nursed. I nursed and I nursed and I nursed. And she wet diaper after diaper. (But she was also jaundiced. Actually moreso than Vio. This did not kill the aforementioned Guilt, however.) When we got her home, I just kept nursing her until my milk came in, and I relished the moments in the middle of the night when she would stay latched for hours.

What made it easier for me to put myself fully in charge of Roo’s needs was the existence of Vio. Matt still had to be a dad, EVEN when I was nursing. He was the one to fetch the 900 morning snacks and build the Duplo towers and read Horton Hears a Who three times in a row. Nursing Roo was actually a BREAK, a chance to sit on the couch and catch up on blogs. I remember sitting there and taking it all in, and it boggled my mind to think that nursing had ever felt like a chore.

We still offered Roo a bottle, this time a bit later. Not until she was five or six weeks old. But I dreaded it, honestly. I didn’t push it at all. I pretended to be excited at the possibility of a break, but, truth be told, I didn’t want one. From the get-go, I knew if that little baby needed to eat, I had to be the one to do it. Bottles just are not an option with her.

So I maintain the WOE IS ME persona and pretend life would be easier if she took a bottle, but I know the opposite of that is true. With Roo, I savor each nursing session, even the ones in the middle of the night, that still sometimes come every. other. hour. at nearly nine months. This one is all mine, and I’m not letting go until she’s ready.

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Filed under Motherhood uncensored, My girls