The pressure is always there to come off as the perfect mom. Co-sleep, don’t co-sleep. Pacifier or no pacifier. Breastfeeding or formula feed. Screen time or no screen time. Society has created this culture of which you shouldn’t co-sleep, you shouldn’t use a pacifier, and there should be absolutely no screen time; that includes television. Also, you should breastfeed up until one, but it’s recommended to go until 2 years. They obviously have never breastfed a teething child so they have no idea how painful it is. Right?!
I’ve been held hostage to this pump for the last 7.5 months. It’s exhausting. Some days I want to stop because it gets overwhelming. I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse so every 4 hours, I have to find time to stop what I’m doing and go pump. That’s easy enough because your employer HAS to provide you time to pump. Sure, tell me that when I have a patient on a ventilator, running a continuous dialysis machine, and managing 7 medication drips to keep a patient stable. Honestly, I don’t know how I manage to breastfeed and pump still at 7.5 months. But I’ll keep going until I can’t.
When I have those thoughts of stopping, I feel guilty for feeling selfish. I know that breastmilk is the absolute best thing to give your child. On top of that, it’s free milk! How could I have those thoughts when some moms struggle to produce breastmilk?! It is the moment my daughter latches on and falls asleep in my arms after breastfeeding when those overwhelming thoughts go away and I feel so fulfilled as a mother that we are creating this bond through breastfeeding. I think to myself, “it’s just an overwhelming day, tomorrow is a new day… your baby is being fed.”
And not to co-sleep??? If I’m breastfeeding a newborn, co-sleeping has been great for me to just roll over and feed my daughter! For the sake of my sanity, I need to hear my child breathe. My son, 2 years old, now sleeps in his own room and occasionally joins us in our bed when he has night terrors. I want my kids to feel safe and that Mommy & Daddy are always here. Some people would say we’re crazy for letting the kids sleep with us.. We think about how they’re going to grow up so fast and will no longer want to hang out with mom and dad. So we’re savoring their young years. My husband is in the Navy and will soon be back to deploying so he enjoys every chance with the family; even if it’s both of our kids in the bed. Hence, why we co-sleep. But why should I explain myself and our rationale for it when that’s what our family does? And why do I feel judged for it?
It’s human nature to have an opinion. But it’s maturity that allows you to agree to disagree. Vaccinations is a whole different ball game. I am a medical professional and I will say I am pro-vaccination and I have my opinions about people against vaccinations, but I do not let that define our friendship. I hold a couple of people close to me who do not vaccinate their children and I would never shame them for that. That is agreeing to disagree.
They say everything you do with your kids early makes a lasting impression on them. Also, everything you do for them affects their future and how they see the world. I believe it. So parent the way you want to parent. You’re a perfect mother/father because you do what works for you and your family, not for anyone else. We all have those friends that chime in unwarranted advice. Just smile and say, “Oh, that’s interesting advice.” Then put it in your pocket and maybe you’ll use it one day… maybe you won’t. This world has positive and negative energy, but keep your mind positive because that is the only mind you can and should control. And if your world is full of negative people, reconsider who you want around you. I assure you that cutting off the weight will make you feel so much better.