in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

we make this so much harder than it is

thank god for a daddy who helps so much with the
airplane and the infant. couldn't do it without you, babe.
the very title of my blog (not this entry but the blog itself) says so much: johnsmomworks. i have always been a working mom. this (temporary*) stay-at-home mom phase of my life has been a new adventure for me -- and for john, of course. with the addition of charlie to the picture, we're flying by the seat of our pants and figuring things out as we go.

i split my time between chasing an airplane around the house to assist with in-air refueling (john) and sitting oh-so-still on the couch using my own body to refuel the airplane's little brother.

this combination of activities has me simultaneously more excited about mommying than ever ... and more uncertain about mommying than ever. am i doing john a disservice by not having more structured learning time? is he bored and in need of more activity? is charlie getting enough milk to grow big and strong? am i eating/drinking the right things to provide top quality milk?

i thought that i would have fewer doubts with nursling number two, not more. after all, i've done this before -- and though certainly every child is different, there are some mechanics, some basics that remain the same no matter what.

part of the problem, i think, is my own tendency to overwhelm myself with too much information. and with smartphones and wifi connections, we have access to too much information 24/7/365. baby squeaking during his 3am feeding? google it as you try to stay awake. worry about the shallowness of his latch. realize that maybe that's why you've had a little more soreness this time around. google reasons for shallow latch. worry about whether baby has a lip tie. try to get a look at the inside of baby's lip. piss baby off -- he just wants to eat milk. remind yourself that baby is gaining weight like crazy so he's getting plenty of milk so even if he has a lip tie it's no big deal. take a deep breath. google "why do my shoulders ache when i breastfeed?" realize your posture is terrible. try to adjust posture. accidentally disrupt the baby ... which pisses baby off. settle baby down. google "breastfeeding positions for back pain."

but then, there are little nuggets that you find that make all that oversaturation worthwhile ... like laid-back nursing. it's what it sounds like: mama lays back, unclothed baby on her chest, and baby's instincts kick in to propel him for the source of the milk he wants. better, deeper, easier latch using gravity, nice skin-to-skin time for mom and babe, awesome snuggling. it's another option for problem nursers, and sort of nice for adequate nursers as well.

but larger than the mechanics of this specific technique, i was struck by the philosophy behind it: since mom and baby both are biologically programmed for this whole process -- (am i talking about breastfeeding or parenting? i don't even know!) -- sometimes just laying back and letting instinct take over is a really powerful option.

sometimes, we make this so much harder than it really is.

sometimes, we overthink and over analyze and create reasons to worry.

sometimes, we invent problems where none exist.

sometimes, we beat ourselves up for things we aren't even doing wrong.

sometimes, we need to stop with the damn googling and snuggle our babies (and our three-year-olds) and remember that we can DO this. not perfectly, not without mis-steps, but we will raise our wee ones to adulthood and they will do great things on this planet and we will know that we didn't ruin them. maybe we even helped them realize the awesomeness that is potential in them from birth.

and of course, by we, i mean i. i need to do those things. i need to take a deep breath, lay back, let charlie find the milk, let john run amok and vent his energy, hug them both and know we're fine.

* the sahm part of my life is drawing to a close before too long -- i've already begun looking for marketing jobs here in the dallas area. it's a strange feeling, both the fact that i haven't been working and the fact that i soon will be. i'm trying to just absorb it all and not worry. i'm trying to ... lay back.


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