With our daughter being almost 2 years old, I have spent many a hours thinking about the past during the wee hours of the night.
Like any parent, you start to wonder…
- Am I doing a good job?
- Am I doing enough?
- Have I “ruined” my child in any way?
- Have I done my best?
A conversation that often comes up between mothers is about breastfeeding. Whether you are in the midst of it right now, hoping to one day, or are on the other side of it, one thing I have learned is that no matter whether you tried, want to try, or breastfed for years, I rarely hear a mom who breastfed say “I wish I still was,” but rather “I did what I could…”
And to any mom out there, let that be your encouragement:
YOU DID WHAT YOU COULD
I was “that mom” that thought I would breastfeed for 6 months at least, and then wean my daughter off in my own timing. Well God had a different timeframe and really, it was best for me AND my daughter. I survived the breastfeeding road for 5 weeks (yes, I know, that’s it), but health reasons just did not allow for more.
Now being on the other side of breastfeeding, it truly is just one of those things that just does not work for everyone! We can ALL go into it thinking it will work, and you can have everyone tell you that it should work because that is how God made our bodies, and in a perfect world, yes it should work. But it doesn’t. Thanks to the fall and how darkness has effected EVERY part of this world, it has also effected breastfeeding.
I wish I would have known how my medication was effecting my supply earlier because those 5 weeks became pretty miserable when it came to feeding. Now being on the other side, it was not worth the stress.
Not that I regret trying, not that I wish I didn’t try, but I do wish I did not spend so much time stressing about it. Yes, I know that feeding a baby is top priority. But so is mama’s health too. Your baby needs YOU and if you are giving so much of yourself to something that just isn’t working, it is taking away the beauty of what could be. I know it’s a bonding experience – but if both of you sit in tears for weeks on end, is it really that “bonding”? For me personally, after a phone call with my sister who said words of liquid gold, that it was okay if it didn’t work, well, that changed everything for me. I quit, our baby ate a WHOLE lot better, and we spent that time no longer in tears. THAT was what bonding was supposed to be.
I know there are moms out there who may be reading this, wondering if you have failed if you didn’t breastfeed until the “recommended” time. You did NOT fail. In fact…
You loved your child enough to quit, when you knew it wasn’t working.
Being almost 2 years on the other side of breastfeeding, I wish I would have believed that sooner.
You, my friend, are a good mama.