I am the worst about making decisions, especially when my decisions directly affect my family. What’s for dinner? Dessert? Decision overload. Do I want peanut butter balls or pecan pie? Ah! Both. No, seriously I always have both.
That brings me to today. Do I stop breast feeding or not?
Making the decision to breast feed and work was something I knew would have a limited time frame. Working and pumping are not always ideal, so I set a goal for myself: Make it to Christmas. I reached that goal with flying colors and a happy baby to boot (even through RSV and her first major growth spurt).
Then… month four. My perfect little sleeper let everyone know she was working on some chompers. More laundry. More diapers. More milk. Like two more ounces in two days more milk. Geeez give a sister a break. Can’t catch up that quick with my lil’ pump-da-pump. Nevertheless, I knew I had to try. I read all the posts, books, and blogs. Great! More decisions to make.
When I find myself in this dilemma, I like to get in a quiet place and pray for clarity and wisdom. Sitting on the bathroom floor behind a locked door, I realized the reason it was so hard to settle on a decision was because I was disappointed. Not with anyone else but myself. I could no longer bring satisfaction to my little girl the way I had been before. I was wasting time at night exhausting all my options in order to help her sleep resulting in a haggard mom, a zombie dad, and a cranky two year old. In that moment I found clarity. For the healthiness of my family and functionality at my job, something needed to give.
I think I so desperately wanted to continue to exclusively breast feed because I might be part of this, in my mind, elite group of people. (There is an elite group of people, and we are already a part of it: The Mommies!) No one had said to me that I needed this mindset or had to do this thing a certain way. It’s all me. Let me be clear: expectations can steal your joy and contentment in a season that passes so quickly with your babies. There is not a certain way of doing things for your family that is better or worse. You must fight for a healthy balance between caring and nurturing for baby as well as the rest of your family.
So, do I stop breast feeding or not?
I’m doing a combination of things to aid in healthy days and nights for my family: breast feeding, pumping, and sometimes supplementing. All in all, I know as I continue in life there will be a constant barrage of decisions to make. I will continue to seek clarity and wisdom for my family even if it’s just pecan pie.
Thank you so much for this blog post. I have been going through the same dilemma with my 5-month old and continued to beat myself up until I realized that the healthy choice was to try something new. It’s always nice to know others are feeling the same way and can offer encouragement 🙂
I actually just finished with this dilemma myself! My first self-weaned at 10 months. He was just all done, and thankfully I was emotionally and mentally there too. It was an easy decision. My second has been a much bigger dilemma. She hasn’t been a great nurser from the beginning. But I pumped through the first 14 weeks of her life, then decided to see if she would latch after I retuned to work and was exhausted by pumping my life away. She did it! It was a good couple of months, but now her intake has increased and I have become exhausted again. It seemed like more of a fight between us than a joy. So after the silly guilt trips we moms are notorious for, I confidently decided to begin the weaning process. She is officially weaned after one month. I feel great about the decision.
With both of my children, when nursing became a fight between us or when I was genuinely tired of it, I found that it was just time to throw in the towel.
Great post! Trust your instincts to do whatever works best for your family.
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