I’ve been having some hard times lately and I’m looking for some help/advice. No one said motherhood was easy by any stretch of the mind, yet I thought I’d never have to make so many life changing decisions so quickly.
First up, breastfeeding…. I quickly discovered this was one subject everyone is EXTREMELY opinionated about. When I was pregnant, I made the decision to attempt to breastfeed (BF). From reading all about the positive aspects of BF, I knew I wanted to give it a shot…but to be honest, once Caroline was born and it was go time, it was really overwhelming. From the lactation consultant at the hospital who was extremely inconsiderate and not-so-helpful to random people preaching their experiences to me, I think my view on BF was somewhat diffierent than others-I did not view it as something that was beautiful, but something I must do to provide CC the nutrition she needed. I felt like a cow with an udder, and it was exhausting that I was the only person who could feed her, 8+ times a day. It was emotionally draining and honestly, I didn’t enjoy it. She latched on, was eating like a champ and gaining a ton of weight, yet I felt a disconnect because I felt like I wasn’t being the mom Caroline needed because I was so concerned with just this one aspect of motherhood. Once I started pumping and others could feed her from a bottle, this helped A LOT. This gave me a bit of freedom and helped me get some “me time”, which I have learned is essential for a new mom.
Now, we are in the middle of weaning from breastmilk to formula, partially because of indigestion issues she has had. This hasn’t been an easy transition, as Caroline has really bad gas so we have had to experiment with all sorts of different formulas before we finally found one that works for her digestive system. She still gets 1-2 bottles of breastmilk a day, but I know in my heart of hearts this was the right decision for not only Carline, but for me and our family. I am able to give more of myself to my daughter and we still have that time to bond when I feed her…it’s just my perspective and what works for us, but for other moms out there who have felt guilty about throwing in the towel on BF, this is to say…YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Then there is the decision that is haunting me day and night…going back to work.
At first, I said there was no way I wanted to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) and I couldn’t wait to get back to my corporate career, yet as we inch closer to the day I am supposed to venture back (Tuesday, May 29th), I can’t help but get depressed at the thought of leaving Caroline.
We have her enrolled in the best daycare, a place I know will take great care of her, yet in the back of my head all I can think is that I should be the one with her day in and day out…that home with her is where I need to be. We looked into hiring a full-time nanny to come to our house, yet when you put pen to paper and look at that financial commitment, it makes no sense for us to pay someone that amount of money when I could be there for free. For other moms out there, how did you decide whether or not to go back to work? I am stuck and so confused right now, and I have been praying about this decision a lot, since my deadline is looming closer each day.
Honestly, I need help and I am hoping some of you out there can help me see things from another perspective having been there as well.