Soon after The Little One was born, people visited us and asked how it was. Was it as expected, did life change dramatically, was breastfeeding going ok and how were the nights? ‘I love him to bits, he’s amazing, breastfeeding is easy-peasy, life is great and the nights, oh well, you get used to it’, I replied.
He is now 6,5 weeks old. I still love him to bits, and judging from my blog, my twitter and facebook it looks like life is just great and I have so much energy to do all sorts of things. I’ll tell you a little secret though: yes, life is great, but I’m extremely tired and drag myself along during the days and nights. One can only cope with sleeping for three hours at the most for so long. And however conscious the decision was (and still is) to breastfeed, it doesn’t make it easier when there are moments he wants to be fed every hour and a half and there’s nothing more to life than being a milkmachine.
Trying to be a mother as nature intended it to be, in a society that is as far away from nature as possible, is very tough. ‘What? You feed him how many times a day? Oh my god!’ is something I hear too often. From mothers who don’t breastfeed (they have a strict three-hour feeding schedule, and no, I am really not judging here!). Or: ‘Just say what time we can meet, whenever you’ve fed your baby and suits you’. Here’s another little secret: babies don’t wear watches. They don’t have a time when they eat, except when on a strict three-hour infant formula schedule. So trying to fit a non-structured way of life in into a society that is very clock-driven is tearing me apart. On top of just being tired all the time, I feel terrible about trying to squeeze breastfeeding inbetween appointments. I’m constantly looking at the clock, it’s driving me insane! I have to remind myself why I wanted to breastfeed to not cave in… On top of that, I’m already worrying about going back to work in 5,5 weeks. Even though I look forward to doing something else than just feed and change diapers, there’s a voice in my head that says it’s all quite unnatural to stop the daily care of your baby after 12 weeks. But being a two-income household, it’s not like one of us can just stop working all of a sudden. Boy oh boy, where’s the switch to turn my stresslevels off?
You may wonder where’s the dad in all this? Well, he’s just the best. I’m very lucky to be with someone who works from home and actually enjoys changing diapers and soothing a crying baby. It’s a blessing being able to spend these first months together. I don’t know how I would cope being home alone five days a week.
I am not complaining, not at all. I mean, look at the guy! Sometimes I break down in tears because I love him so much (or maybe that’s just the sleep deprivation…)! But because I don’t like keeping up appearances, I just wanted to share a little truth about my motherhood with you.
So (breastfeeding) mothers out there: how do you do it? How do you cope with being a mother and trying to be you as well in this modern society?