This Beautiful Inheritance: The Mom I'll Never Be

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Mom I'll Never Be

Selah is now six weeks old. She is such a sweet baby. She loves to be cuddled, and that's fine because she's got plenty of people who love cuddling her, including her big sister!

For the most part, things are peachy. But just six weeks in, we have hit some bumps along the way. Or at least I have -- mentally.

With Eden, I breastfed about five days. I threw in the towel because the pain was too much, and she didn't seem to get enough to satisfy her. THIS TIME, I thought, I'll do it better. I'll bite my lip, I'll bear the pain, I'll do it long enough that we both get really good at it.

But two days into Selah's life, I was already extremely frustrated with nursing. It hurt like CRAZY, and I suspected she wasn't getting enough to eat either, as she was having virtually no pee diapers. ((Are there any males who read my blog?? If so, this post is probably not for you. Sorry guys!)) The pain literally became too much to bear. I spent the whole day dreading the next feeding and the whole feeding trying not to cry. To me, it wasn't worth it. I felt I couldn't even enjoy that sweet time with my newborn because my Battle with Breastfeeding was running the show. So I waved the white flag of surrender...again.

Honestly, the first time I gave Selah a bottle, I didn't feel guilty. I felt sheer bliss at enjoying a feeding without being hunched over in pain. The guilt monster, though, stuck around and snuck up on me later. He joined forces with the Your-Babies-Never-Sleep guilt monster, and they started convincing me I wasn't the best mommy.

You see, Eden was the worst sleeper ever. After she started sleeping through the night, AT A YEAR OLD, I swore I'd never go through another sleepless year like that again. I pledged to implement the "Babywise" method with my next baby. Come hell or high water, I was determined to do things differently the second time around. No matter what, I thought, Baby #2 would not take after her big sister when it came to nighttime sleep!

So when Sweet Selah entered the world, I attempted to get her on the Babywise schedule. I didn't do it perfectly, but I gave it my best shot. Just like the book said, we "ate, played, slept, ate, played, slept" all day long. But sometimes her naps were too long, and sometimes I couldn't keep her awake during her feeding, and too often, things just didn't go "by the book." And at night, the girl still woke up. A lot.

A few weeks into her life, I threw another towel into my overflowing laundry basket. And I succumbed to the fact that I would never be "That Mom." You know the one. The one who puts up regular blog posts about her neatly packaged life. All her children are on predictable schedules. They slept through the night at four weeks old (or from birth). She nursed them all until they started eating solid food, which obviously is all organic all the time and is obviously all purchased with coupons.

Usually, I am a pretty confident person, but I have to say, Mommyhood has a way of making me feel inferior. I will never be "That Mom."

Day by day, I have to tell myself that everyone is different:  every mom and every child. I have to tell myself that what works for one family may not work for another and that that is OK.

AND for the last three nights, Selah has slept so much better. She's only woken up once each night, and I think she may just be trying to tell me, "Don't worry about it, Mom. You're doing a great job."

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