It was very easy leading up to the birth of our son Ryder to get caught up in conversation as well as read about what I should be doing as a mother. I had this idea of what I was going to be as a woman a new mother and a wife, I found myself getting overwhelmed, feeling inadequate and unprepared for this huge change that was going to happen.
I was quite surprised once I left hospital, my parents arrived we had trips away and things were going along smoothly until…
the 7 or 8 week mark my new born baby was now a baby and a hangry (hungry and angry) baby at that. I felt as if the hours and days were only spent feeding I’d be sitting every hour and a half feeding for 30 minutes each side. I remember having a mini breakdown (teary not sobbing just yet) during a 2 a.m feed thinking of how I always thought I would be a breastfeeding mother until he was at least 6 months. My readings and conversations with others told me it was best but it started to take a toll on my body. It took getting a fever for 4 days, engorgement on both breast and a conversation with my doctor who said “just supplement his hunger with formula” to change my attitude towards breastfeeding. I didn’t think I could supplement, I thought it had to be one or the other, I thought Ryder wouldn’t accept it, however I was wrong and since then the boobs enjoy a break as we alternate between formula and breast milk.
what I understand is there really is no right way of doing anything,
there is just so many options on how to recover, feed, sleep, dress, change, rest and live with a baby that it is better not to try and live up to anyone else’s standards or even to my own preconceived expectations.
What matters is finding through trial and error or trial and success what works for me.
Letting go of the checklists the do’s and the don’ts and those initial expectations I put on myself before he arrived, made me so much more happier I’m learning to just go with it.
What I’ve also realized is that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ baby,
its so easy to get caught up referring to little ones as good when they eat drink sleep the way that suits us as adults, the problem with the idea of a ‘good baby’ is it evokes comparison when they’re not doing what we expect. This can lead to self doubt in the way you do things and wasted unnecessary stress. What I have come to understand is at the end of the day up to a certain point in their first months of life, Ryder now 4 months is going to do what Ryder wants to do when he wants to do it. I remember the day we organized family photos I tried so hard on 3 occasions that afternoon to make him sleep usually he’s a ‘good baby’ and sleeps in the afternoon but on this occasion my “good afternoon sleeping baby” was gone! I was fussing over him getting worried if he didn’t sleep he’d be a cranky baby and finally after 3 or 4 attempts I gave up on the idea of sleep. Sure enough 10 minutes into our first family photo shoot he was fast asleep. In hindsight It actually made it a whole lot easier to get him into a position/pose and remain that way while Alex and I tried to look adoringly at each other and our little ever changing baby.
My journey through motherhood and its milestones is my own it can’t be replicated by another and when I remind myself of this, its special and I find it easier to…
try to let go of expectations let go of comparisons and just go with it.